UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


U.S. Marine Corps - Small Wars Manual (1940 Edition)




General				15-5
Factors to be considered	15-2
Phases of withdrawal		15-3

15--1. General.-In accordance with national policy, it is to be expected that small wars operations will not be conducted with a view to the permanent acquisition of any foreign territory. A force engaged in small wars operations may expect to be withdrawn from foreign territory as soon as its mission is accomplished. In some instances, changes in national foreign policy may lead to the abrupt termination of small wars operations within a given theater. Since eventual withdrawal is certain, it is a governing factor in troop assignment and field operations.

15-2. Factors to be considered.-voluntary and involuntary withdrawal from contact with a hostile force is a tactical operation, the basic principles of which are applicable to any type of warfare. When a withdrawal from a foreign territory is ordered, the mission will usually be to withdraw, leaving the local government secure in its ability to execute all of its functions satisfactorily. Policies, decisions, plans, and alternate plans should be decided upon well in advance of the time of execution. Local governnmantal functions should be returned to the control of the local authorities as early in the campaign as conditions warrant, in order that it may not be necessary to turn over all such functions at one time. As soon as an approximate date for withdrawal has been decided, the commander of the United States forces makes recommendations to higher authority relative to the methods to accomplish the withdrawal and requests decisions on all matters pertaining to the operation that he is not empowered to decide himself. Decisions are requested on all matters requiring coordination by a higher authority.

15-3. Phases of withdrawal.-For convenience of analysis, withdrawal is divided into two phases; the withdrawal from active military operations and the final withdrawal. The withdrawal from active military operations commences when elements of the United States forces initiate the restoration to the local authorities of any governmental authority or responsibility that has been assumed during the course of the campaign. This phase of the operation terminates when the local government is in complete control of the theater of operations. This phase may merge into the final withdrawal phase since the final withdrawal may be proceeding concurrently with the last stages of withdrawal from active military operations. When the United States forces have transferred all governmental authority and responsibility to the local government and no further military operations are contemplated except in case of grave emergency, the final withdrawal phase may be properly considered to have startecl. This phase ends when all United States forces have been evacuated from the foreign country.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list