Document Type



Edgar M. Cullen Prize Paper (T. Meares, H. Gerken, A. Kronman) (best paper by a 1st year student)


The campaign fought in the towns, villages, and jungle paths of the Philippine Islands at the turn of the last century long remained outside the mainstream of U.S. historical memory, but it has returned during the current conflict with al-Qaeda and its affiliates. For military historians, the Philippine-American War—fought in a faraway land on difficult terrain against an elusive, irregular foe who often enjoyed the support of local civilians—represents a paradigmatic, successful counterinsurgency. Legal scholars, for their part, have focused on the military commissions before which the United States government, then as now, tried its enemies for violating the laws of war. In recent years, legal academics, military lawyers, and even the military commissions themselves have looked to these earlier tribunals as a source of precedent. Meanwhile, cultural historians have drawn implicit and explicit comparisons between the Philippine-American War and the U.S. engagement in Iraq since 2003, examining and comparing the role of racial assumptions in driving violence and torture.

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