This monograph investigates the historical use of cavalry in low intensity conflict (LIC). This investigation is to determine the possible strengths and weaknesses of our current light infantry division’s reconnaissance squadron in terms of organization, equipment, doctrine, and techniques for employment in LIC. The intent of the paper is neither to produce a paradigm on the use of reconnaissance forces in LIC nor simply to conduct a historical study, but rather to see if our past actions impact on today’s cavalry.
The structure of this monograph is to explain the nature of LIC and assess its impact on reconnaissance forces, describe a comparison methodology, conduct historical analysis, analyze the results of the comparison, and then to make conclusions and offer recommendations. The information collection effort was focused on primary source reports from the Army, Marine, and British Army commanders involved, directed research analysis, and personal interviews.
LIC is not new to the American Army. Our Army has been involved in insurgencies both in and out of country from its creation. The Army has fought in numerous insurgencies, however, its involvements in the Philippines, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Grenada are studied as are the U.S. Marine Corps interventions in Nicaragua and Haiti and the British Army’s actions in Malaya and Kenya. These insurgencies were fought in different environmental settings, against different types of insurgents, by different intervening nations. These examples are too few to provide an accurate data base for statistical analysis; however, they provide enough diverse information for comparative analysis by comparing the missions that were assigned to the reconnaissance units involved.