Archive for Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Military studies Quantrill’s guerrilla tactics

October 17, 2006

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Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence isn't easily forgotten. On Monday, however, it was remembered for an entirely different reason.

"We're studying guerrilla war tactics of the Civil War period," said Jay Jackson, an amateur historian of the era. "One of the best examples is right here in Lawrence."

Nearly 50 faculty members from Fort Leavenworth's Command and General Staff College - a military school for army officers about a decade into their career - traveled here Monday to learn about the Civil War raid that left about 200 dead and most of the city in ashes. Traveling to locations throughout town linked to scenes of the attack, the military leaders alternatively listened to historians lecture and participated in discussions about what they described as a tragic, albeit misunderstood occurrence.

As Jackson contended, the attack on Lawrence wasn't an isolated event, but rather one that spawned from a series of attacks in the other direction.

"It was tit for tat. The Kansas people had come to Missouri and burnt and killed, and the Missourians were now coming to Kansas to do the same thing," he said.

But beyond exposing the flip side of the Quantrill coin, faculty members said understanding the past is crucial to managing contemporary U.S. military endeavors.

Ret. Lt. Col. Ed Kennedy, right, a former history instructor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, relates one of the stories of Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence near Sixth and New Hampshire streets, the location of City Hotel in 1863. Faculty from the Center for Army Tactics participated in a tour of sites on Quantrill's Raid to complement their study of the raid and its possible lessons in U.S. struggles against guerrilla conflicts and insurgencies.

Ret. Lt. Col. Ed Kennedy, right, a former history instructor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, relates one of the stories of Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence near Sixth and New Hampshire streets, the location of City Hotel in 1863. Faculty from the Center for Army Tactics participated in a tour of sites on Quantrill's Raid to complement their study of the raid and its possible lessons in U.S. struggles against guerrilla conflicts and insurgencies.

"Looking at what occurred on the border between Kansas and Missouri during the Civil War has great relevance to what we're doing today in Afghanistan and Iraq," said Col. William Raymond, director for the Center for Army Tactics at the college.

"The terrorists or the guerrilla fighters, the insurgents (in the Middle East) - whatever you want to call them - appear out of nowhere, do damage and then run," Jackson said. "It's hard to deal with that with a standard military force, so we're studying this in history, hoping that we learn something and that we get some reflection on what we're dealing with in modern times."

Raymond said the knowledge gleaned from the event does not come in the form of adopted strategy or a tidy history-repeats-itself lesson. Instead, he said, the exercise is intended to "develop leaders to be able to adapt to changing situations," such as those in the Middle East.

In addition, he said, the tour provokes questions.

"How do you win the hearts and minds of the people? Brute force is one way. ... It might work in the short term, but in the long term, it has the opposite effect of what you're trying to do," Raymond said.

In the case of Quantrill's Raid, Raymond's words serve as a reminder that there are two sides to everything.

"There's many ways to tell a story," he said. "How do you decide to tell a story?"

Comments

prioress 10 years, 1 month ago

You'd think the military would learn that invading countries never works..... From Rome to the common day, invaders are ultimately defeated.

Good points, and ones we are ignoring in Iraq at great cost. The Vietnamese, for example, resisted the Chinese for 900+ YEARS!

Leprechaunking13 10 years, 1 month ago

pretty sure that countries that invade others aren't always defeated, how about the US we invaded and WON. how about the British they invaded many many many places and won most of them and is stil in control of some. how about Rome, Rome until it was split in 2 couldn't be defeated you logrithmic need to do research before you speak

Leprechaunking13 10 years, 1 month ago

how do you explain that the indians don't run this land anymore

Kontum1972 10 years, 1 month ago

SE Asia War-Games...yeah that was a good time....we came in Second Place...LoL....how we think people will just roll over when we show up in their country and just give up to BIG BAD USA..GOOD GRIEF.....

a few months ago we were going to take CUBA....que pasa?

we want to set up shop again in VietNam....the North already said bring it on..we will kick u out again....

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA....!

WHY DONT WE JUST ALL TRY TO GET ALONG....!

and we want to go to the moon and mars...what if we find somebody there.....do we kill them too and shove our way of life down their throats....or else.....WtF is wrong with those people in DC...what the Hell is wrong with everybody....?

Leprechaunking13 10 years, 1 month ago

no one is talking about rolling over for the USA they're talking about war tactics

Leprechaunking13 10 years, 1 month ago

yeah they had little interest in North America that's why they had a huge chunk of what is now the Western US you are a complete idiot logrithmic.

carolannfugate 10 years, 1 month ago

Yes and over on the Columbus day thread I believe the topic is personality disorders.

Bone777 10 years, 1 month ago

Dian Fosse - probably the best guerrilla tactician this world has ever seen.

prioress 10 years, 1 month ago

"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

Good point: For a detailed explication on the current mess, read: American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush " People like Kevin Phillips aren't supposed to exist anymore. In a country that's become "two nations," this time not black and white but Red and Blue, conservatives rarely engage with liberals (unless it's to lampoon or attack them), let alone read their publications, reckon with their arguments, or -- perish the thought! -- even agree with them. But here comes Phillips, the renowned Nixon White House strategist who wrote "The Emerging Republican Majority" in 1969, a Nixon/Reagan/John McCain kind of Republican, with the most damning book to date about the Bush administrations (yes, that's plural), "American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush." http://dir.salon.com/story/books/feature/2004/01/27/phillips/index.html

Leprechaunking13 10 years, 1 month ago

no I believe that's your upper lip logrithmic

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