The United States’ early 20th-century military interventions in Asia and the Caribbean are important because they have us reckon with questions about the use of military/naval power abroad. These questions pertain to U.S. motivations to intervene as well as the effectiveness, cost, and consequences of intervention on the peoples and military institutions involved.
1. Jackson Lears, Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877–1920 (New York: Harper Collins, 2009), 279; Lester D. Langley, The Banana Wars: United States Intervention in the Caribbean, 1898–1934 (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources Inc, 2002), xv.
2. Allan R. Millett, Peter Maslowski, and William B. Feis, For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States from 1607 to 2012, 3d ed., (New York: Free Press, 2012), 282–83.
3. Andrew J. Birtle, U.S. Army Counterinsurgency and Contingency Operations Doctrine, 1860–1941 (Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 2009), 108.
4. Edward H. Crosby, “The Military Idea of Manliness,” The Independent, April 1901, 833.
5. Birtle, Counterinsurgency Doctrine, 181–82.
6. Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1914 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1915), 462.
7. Gordon L. Rottman, U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle: Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939–1945 (West Port CT: Greenwood Press, 2002), 15.
8. Hans Schmidt, The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915–1934 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1995), 64–65; Mary A. Renda, Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915–1940 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), 29–31.
9. Allan R. Millett, Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine Corps (New York: Free Press, 1991), 192. Bruce J. Calder, The Impact of Intervention: The Dominican Republic During the U.S. Occupation of 1916–1924 (Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2006), 8–10; Keith B. Bickel, Mars Learning: The Marine Corps Development of Small Wars Doctrine, 1915–1940 (Boulder CO: Westview Press, 2001), 58–59.
10. Quoted report from an unnamed brigade commander in Brigadier-General George Barnett to the Secretary of Navy, Report on Affair in the Republic of Haiti, June 1915 to June 30, 1920, U.S. Marine Corps History Division (USMC HD), Quantico, VA.
11. Major Thomas C. Turner, “Report of investigation of certain irregularities alleged to have been committed by officers and enlisted men in the Republic of Haiti,” 3 November 1919, Haitian Geographic Files, USMC HD.
12. Bruce Calder, “Caudillos and Gavilleros versus the United States Marines: Guerrilla Insurgency During the Dominican Intervention, 1916–1924,” The Hispanic American Historical Review 58, no. 4 (November 1978): 656; see also Millett, Semper Fidelis, 196.
13. Calder, The Impact of Intervention, 149; Hearings before a Select Committee of Haiti and Santo Domingo, 2 vols., 67th Cong., 1st and 2d sess., 1922, 1119; Langley, The Banana Wars, 146.
14. Charles F. Merkel to Russell W. Duck, 2 October 1918, Charles Merkel Personnel File, National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, MO; Mark R. Folse, “The Tiger of Seibo: Charles Merkel, George C. Thorpe, and the Dark Side of Marine Corps History,” Marine Corps History 1, no. 2 (Winter 2016): 4–18.
15. Breanne Robertson, “Rebellion, Repression, and Reform: U.S. Marines in the Dominican Republic,” Marine Corps History 2, no. 1 (Summer 2016): 47–50.
16. Col L. W. T. Waller to Col S. D. Butler, 13 July 1916, Butler Papers, Marine Corps Archives (MCA), Quantico, VA; Millett, Semper Fidelis, 187.
17. BGen Edwin Howard Simmons, USMC (Ret.), The United States Marines: A History (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2002), 112–14.
18. Jeffrey W. Meiser, Power and Restraint: The Rise of the United States 1898–1941 (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2015), 195.
19. Bickel, Mars Learning, 211–13; Millett, Semper Fidelis, 330–32.
20. Bickel, Mars Learning, 222.
21. Alan McPherson, The Invaded: How Latin Americans and Their Allies Fought and Ended U.S. Occupations (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 262.
22. For Philippine numbers, see Timothy K. Deady, “Lessons from a Successful Counterinsurgency: The Philippines, 1899–1902,” Parameters 35, no. 1 (June 2005): 53–68. For Hispaniola and Nicaragua, see Simmons, The United States Marines, 117; Max Boot, Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (New York: Basic Books, 2003), 180.
23. Aaron O’Connell, “Defending Imperial Interests in Asia and the Caribbean, 1898–1941,” in America, Sea Power, and the World, James Bradford, ed. (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell and Sons, 2016), 161.
24. Oral history transcript, Brigadier General Victor F. Bleasdale, interviewed by Benis M. Frank, 4 December 1979 (Washington, DC: History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, 1984), 160; Millett, Semper Fidelis, 323.
25. Smedley D. Butler, War Is a Racket, Adam Parfrey, ed. (Los Angeles: Feral House, 2003), 24.
26. Bickel, Mars Learning, 250.
27. Jeannie L. Johnson, The Marines Counterinsurgency and Strategic Culture: Lessons Learned and Lost in America’s Wars (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2018) 6–7.