In 1812, the United States government tried to annex Spanish East Florida by a combination of covert action and direct invasion. Then the plan went horribly wrong.
The “Patriots’ War’” in Spanish East Florida during 1812-13 was an early example of a military disaster caused by a secret, flawed political policy. The characteristics of this fiasco bear an uncomfortable resemblance to the United States’ undeclared wars in the late 20th century—covert paramilitary operations, convoluted chains of command, restrictive rules of engagement, Congress at odds with the president, and increasing public dissatisfaction. As always, the troops paid the highest price for bad policy.
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“Florida Fiasco: Rampant Rebels on the Georgia-Florida Border 1810-1815” by Rembert Patrick.
“The Other War of 1812: The Patriot War and the American Invasion of Spanish East Florida” by James Cusick.
DOD Use of Deadly Force circa 1992