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




Concentration			15-4
Rights retained			15-5
Procedure			15-6

15-4. Concentration.-During the initial military operations of a small war campaign, the commander of the United States forces is usually free to dispose his forces in accordance with the tactical situation, subject to general directives received from higher authority. When the tactical situation permits, troops may be withdrawn from outlying areas and concentrated at points that will enable them to support native forces if such support is required. When order is restored and the proficiency of the native troops or police is such that there is no further need for United States forces in close support, the latter may be concentratecl in a locality or localities where they will be available in case of emergency. This concentration may be gradual and extend over a considerable period of time. It may be hastened or retarded by international or local political considerations. Concentration areas are selected only after a careful estimate of the situation. In a withdrawal that is unhampered by combat operations, logistic considerations will usually be a controlling factor in the selection of such areas. The main or final concentration area or areas will normally be at a seaport. When the final concentration area or areas lie inland, a line of communication thereto must be secured.

15-5. Rights retained.-As the U. S. forces will be relinquishing all, or at least a part, of their military, territorial, and administration functions, consideration must be given to the matter of rights and powers that are to be retained by the United States forces for reasons of policy or security. The right to use all communication facilities is retained in order that the supp]y and evacuation of United states forces may be readily carried out until the final withdrawal is completed. Means of communication include the unrestricted use of roads, railroads, waterways, as well as telephone ancl radio facilities. A definite written agreement with the proper authorities is usually made to cover the retention of rights and privileges pertaining to communication facilities. Military control is retained over areas actually used for military purposes, such as camp sites, airfields, and supply bases. Control is also retained over sufficient adjacent terrain to provide for their defense. The right to operate military planes throughout the theater of operations is also retained. Complete jurisdiction over all members of the United States forces, even if serving in some capacity with the local government, should be retained. Under no circumstances should members of the United States forces be subject to trial by the courts of the foreign country. The detention of members of the United States forces by native police or military authority should be permitted only in the gravest emergency, and then only for the protection of life and property until the offender can be turnecl over to United States military or naval authority. In all small-war operations, a definite policy relative to the joint functioning, the extent of duties, and the mutual relations among local police forces, local military forces, and United States forces should be enunciated as early as practicable. Modification of the details of the policies agreed upon are transmitted to all concerned from time to time as the withdrawal progresses.

15-6. Procedure.-Normally, the first step in the withdrawal from active military operations will be the concentration of troops at some suitable location or locations in each military territorial subdivision. The final step will probably be the withdrawal of troops from these territorial subdivisions to a final concentration point or points. No area is evacuated until adequate local agencies have assumed the responsibility for the maintenance of law and order. Usually, the initial withdrawal of troops is from the more tranquil or remote areas. If conditions permit, troops are assembled at the most advantageous locations in the territorial subdivisions and are then withdrawn by battalions or regiments. In anticipation of withdrawal, and for other cogent reasons, it is desirable to release the United States forces from all routine constabulary and police duties as early in the campaign as the situation permits, Such procedure does not preclude participation in joint combat operations, since the United States forces continue to act as support for the native military forces. Unforeseen developments in the military situation may necessitate active combat operations by United States forces in order to maintain the morale and prestige of the native military forces that find themselves hard-pressd. Tactical units of the United States forces may be evacuated from the theater of operations prior to the date of final withdrawal. In such cases, due regard should be given to the necessity of retaining certain special units that will be required to function until the last troops are withdrawn. Such special units include air, supply, and communication troops. Administrative plans and the logistics pertaining to the evacuation should be formulated well in advance of the actual troop movement.

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