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ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS COMBAT STUDIES INST; Gott, Kendall D.
The US Army has often been called upon to conduct operations in in-hospitable climates on rugged terrain against elusive and determined foes. Some of the more famous of these characters were Emilio Aguinaldo of the Philippines, Pancho Villa of Mexico, and in recent times Muslim terrorist Osama bin Laden. Each of these men faced the superior weaponry and materiel of the US Army but put up a persistent struggle nonetheless. All of these operations were costly in manpower, were bitterly frustrating, and took months of hard campaigning. The areas of operation were in foreign lands and often featured a porous border or areas of sanctuary for the enemy to receive logistics support and recruits. The Army also faced extreme public scrutiny and at times a hostile press. The Victorio Campaign bears many parallels to ongoing operations against Islamic terrorist movements. Victorio was a charismatic leader who many indeed considered a terrorist. On the other hand, his followers considered him a freedom fighter and gave him their unswerving loyalty. These warriors were fanatical in their support and willingly endured extreme hardship and depredation in the fight against their enemies. Victorio s band was not self-sustaining and received replenishment from fellow Apaches that remained on the reservations when operating nearby. When ranging over the mountains the band relied on its defeated enemies captured arms, ammunition, and horses. Like today s terrorist leaders, Victorio used an international border, that between the United States and Mexico, to great effect. He knew that both countries were unable to coordinate their efforts through the stifling bureaucracy and political rivalry that so often poisoned amicable relations. As a result, Victorio was able to raid into one country and avoid pursuit by simply recrossing the border.
The original document contains color images.