Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines

Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines
Part of Insurgency in the Philippines, the War on Terror
PMC BAlikatan Exercise.jpg
Philippine Marines training with U.S. Marines
Date15 January 2002 – February 24, 2015[1]
LocationPhilippines
StatusSuccessful operation - Substantial reduction in capabilities of domestic and transnational terrorist groups operating in the Philippines[1]
Belligerents

 Republic of the Philippines


 United States of America (advisors)

Jihadist groups:

Commanders and leaders
Philippines Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
(2001-2010)
Philippines Benigno Aquino III
(2010-2016)
United States Donald C. Wurster
(2002-2011)
Isnilon Totoni Hapilon 
Abu Sabaya 
Khadaffy Janjalani 
Albader Parad 
Umbra Jumdail 
Abu Bakar Bashir (POW)[2]
Marwan [3]
Strength
United States US Forces: 250[4]–6,000 (Advisors/Trainers)[5] Abu Sayyaf: 300[6]
Jemaah Islamiyah: 5,000[7]
Casualties and losses
17 killed[8][9]
Causes:
Communist insurgency in the Philippines
Islamic insurgency in the Philippines,
11 September 2001 attacks

Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines (OEF-P) or Operation Freedom Eagle was part of Operation Enduring Freedom and the global War on Terror.[10] The Operation targeted the various Jihadist terror groups operating in the country. By 2009, about 600 U.S. military personnel were advising and assisting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Southern Philippines.[11] In addition, by 2014, the CIA had sent its elite paramilitary officers from their Special Activities Division to hunt down and kill or capture key terrorist leaders.[12] This group had the most success in combating and capturing Al-Qaeda leaders and the leaders of associated groups like Abu Sayyaf.[12]

Background

The 1898 Treaty of Paris ended the Spanish–American War, with Spain ceding the Philippines to the United States. Islam had arrived in the Philippines before the Spanish. Spain had conquered the northern islands, and the southern islands had become Muslim strongholds.[13] The Spanish cession included the islands of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, and the ceded territory included the islands of the Sultanate of Sulu located in the Philippine archipelago where slavery and piracy had for centuries been practiced by the Moros. The Spanish had established coastal garrisons but had never controlled the jungle interiors of the islands.[14]

In 1899, U.S. Brigadier General John C. Bates negotiated an agreement, sometimes called the Bates Treaty for an American Sovereignty over the Moro land which still recognized and respected the position of the Sultan and the Sultanate as well as their Muslim traditions, laws, and practices with the sitting Sultan of Sulu. The treaty had little effect, however, as the Sultan had little real power. Tribal chiefs strongly resisted American control over their territories and carried out attacks against American troops and other foreigners.[15] The treaty was unilaterally abrogated by Leonard Wood in 1905.[16] Bates later confessed that the agreement was merely a temporary expedient to buy time until the northern forces were defeated.[17][better source needed][18][19]