military, as exemplified in the two (2) real-Life international incidents that you have researched. Justify your response.
America is more than just the leading superpower in the world; it is also widely regarded as the ‘world’s policeman’ on account of its numerous interventions in solving global problems. Every now and again, it has been expected to mediate and negotiate when problems arise in any corner of the globe. When the U.S. is hesitant or doesn’t act in accordance with general expectations, a cloud of helplessness engulfs the world. Two global scenarios wherein the U.S. resorted to a surprising course of action, while concurrently attempting to steer clear of usual military tactics are the ongoing civil war in Syria and the 2011 Libyan Civil War. Other countries’ reaction in case of the latter event and the continuance of USA’s position in the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) merely validate that it is, in fact, the global ‘policeman’.
Two Recent International Events Depicting U.S. Military Interventions as Fallout of Its Post- WWI Foreign Policy
Syrian Civil War
Syria’s political upheaval, which sparked in the former half of 2011, grew to become a nationwide rebellion when the Syrian government reacted tyrannically to initially peaceful civilian protests. At the revolt’s beginning, independent violent actions by individuals opposed to governmental authorities were greeted with fierce army responses; civilians ended up dead as a result, and subsequently, a cycle of progressively intense retaliation was generated. Extremist gangs began spouting around the nation and armed defectors from the military and civilians trounced Syria’s army during a few initial clashes. Consequently, territorial control went to the hands of the opposition; Assad’s government lost its monopoly over Syria’s people and territory.
Ever since 2012, Obama’s government has demonstrated active participation in multilateral endeavors for arriving at a negotiation between the Syrian government and its enemies. Several armed as well as unarmed government adversaries have demanded for the ousting of, and appropriate action against, all authorities (including President Assad) liable for costing countless civilians their lives. Moreover, opposition members demand for the retention and reformation of major security institutions. In its efforts, the U.S. has integrated nonlethal assistance to certain enemy parties, aid to screened enemy groups for certain special purposes, reported secret aid to specific armed forces, and blatant training, in addition to the regularly proclaimed governmental claim that ‘the Syrian conflict cannot be resolved by any military technique’.
The above declaration points to the confirmed preference of America for the continuance of a few aspects of Syria’s governmental structure over military movements, which can bring about state collapse. Obama’s government, while persistently claiming that its goal is negotiation, and that the current Syrian administration has lost its privilege to run the nation, has openly exhibited its involvement, to a certain degree, in the war in Syria since somewhere around mid-2014. It commenced armed campaigns against terrorist groups, such as Islamic State. These U.S. efforts have, perhaps, been successful, to some extent, in weakening extremist power over some parts of the nation.
Members of the American Congress are yet to come to an agreement in connection with the Syrian problem, to some minimum degree at the very least, which would foster a political restructuring and evolution, or aid in the fight against terror groups, such as Islamic State. Slowly, a few members of the Congress have started demanding for various types of American armed interventions to destabilize radical Syrian opposition groups or safeguard the civilians situated in particular parts of Syria. There are some in the U.S. government who go even further and advocate for more rigorous training and armament of moderate enemy groups in Syria, by America. However, some others caution against the probable unintentional consequences of greater involvement by America.
In addition, the American Congress hasn’t achieved any consensus with regard to whether decreased U.S. involvement, and that of other allied countries, can bring about more effective management of adverse repercussions of incessant, unmitigated war. Ways by which external involvement in Syria can achieve the above results haven’t been determined either. The public, Congressional members and government authorities still disagree over the different inducements and discouragements that can have the greatest effect in swaying Syrian government opponents and the people who back them. Far less evident are the tasks interveners like the U.S. are willing to undertake for the purpose of accomplishing a complete political shift agreed to by Syrians; protecting U.S. allies and Syrian civilians; supporting answerability and resolution; or participating in reconstructing a nation ravaged by violent conflict for years (Blanchard et al., 2015).
All over the world, individuals witnessed the unfolding of the 2011 Arab Spring with increasing incredulity. The third nation to be afflicted by the contagious uprising was Libya, which, in February, was hit by revolution only a few weeks after the Tunisian, and later, Egyptian, governments witnessed revolts against them. Countrywide campaigns were sparked against Muammar Gaddafi’s government after Libyan defense personnel launched an attack on civilians rallying against the detention of a human rights advocate in Benghazi. Before long, the campaigns turned into armed revolts. Gaddafi ordered his army to attack insurgents from the air when the intensity of their campaigns grew. The American government ordered the closing down of its embassy in Tripoli, Libya’s capital, as well as enforced unilateral injunctions against Libya, only a day prior to UN demands for multilateral injunctions. Obama’s administration affirmed that Muammar Gaddafi had no right to rule the nation now and has to bow out. Aside from the above actions, America remained discreet all through the course of events in Libya and the final military campaign. President Obama was attacked by political commentators for his hesitancy.
Arab League countries, on 12th March, 2011, appealed to the Security Council of the United Nations Organization (UNSC) for the imposition of an NFZ (no-fly zone) over war-struck Libya. Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, showed overt skepticism with regard to this Arab League proposal. In his view, this move was inadequate and, eventually, American military intervention would be required to sort the issue. After a week, under the UNSC Resolution’s 1973 mandate, a group of willing nations launched an armed movement to safeguard Libya’s civilians.
USA demonstrated hesitation in its decision to participate in the conflict in Libya. It was coaxed to act primarily by human rights advocate agencies and some Congressional representatives. American citizens, however, were not in favor of their government’s decision to intervene. Opinion polls revealed that, despite nearly all Americans displaying feelings of concern with regard to Libyans’ distress, they felt it wasn’t their government’s duty to take care of the problem. But soon after getting involved, America played a pivotal part, politically as well as militarily, in curbing the issue. Obama’s administration explicitly stated, during the initial days of America’s involvement, that this particular operation would have limited scope, as well as duration.
After roughly ten days of its involvement in the Libyan problem, America extracted its attacking groups, taking on a supportive or ‘back-seat’ position and just contributing unique strengths. Its European allies depended heavily on American capabilities. America was responsible for 80% of overall refueling in the air, most of the air monitoring task, and almost total electronic warfare, following complete command assignation to NATO. A key point to bear in mind is that American presence was still prominent, following NATO’s assumption of control of the operation’s command, since America dominates NATO politically as well as militarily. Numerous commanders of the U.S. army were assigned to top-most roles in the NATO control and command system, in the campaign against Gaddafi (Lindstrom & Zetterlund, 2012).
US’s rise as a Super Power since 1865
Roosevelt Corollary- It declares America’s obligation to ensure stability within Caribbean countries and the Latin American region. America, under this policy, assigned its army to numerous states like Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Panama. Roosevelt, in 1903, deployed the American navy to Panama’s aid against Colombia. America also launched the construction of the pivotal Panama Canal in the year 1904. The country had, by the 20th century, already progressed quite far in its journey to becoming a major international power.
World War-I- America deployed over 5 million soldiers to aid its allies in World War I. Furthermore, it offered massive war supplies and loans to its allies. The American economy reverted to policies of isolationism and high tariffs. WWI had a positive effect on the American economy, taking it to the position of the greatest global economic power.
Spanish American War- the U.S. focused keenly on Western regions for many years, and on bringing the whole of North America under its rule. It successfully expanded its territory, till it covered the continent’s entire breadth from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast. At the same time, the U.S. annexed Hawaii, as well as some other Pacific territories and islands. The war between Spain and the U.S. in the year 1898 aided the latter in its annexation of American Samoa, Philippines, and Puerto Rico; it acquired domination over Cuba, as well. The war with Spain, thus, made America a ‘superpower’ (Sabato & O’Conner, n.d.)
American Policing role since World War II
Korean War (1950-1953) USA rushed to South Korea’s rescue against the attack by adjoining North Korea, after UNSC resolutions. As many as over 300,000 American soldiers were assigned to the nation in the year 1953.
Laos (1962-1975). A critical role was played by America in providing anti-Communists with military assistance.
Somalia (1992-1993) America assigned soldiers to this nation for addressing a humanitarian problem after a UNSC Resolution concluded that the scenario threatened global peace (Torreon, 2015).
Gulf War- A 34-nation coalition sanctioned by the UNO (with USA at the head) declared war on Iraq, in reaction to its Kuwaiti attack and occupation (www.saylor.org).
International Policy Decisions
American foreign policy- Refers to U.S. governmental action in aid of its foreign interests, in order to ensure its economic power and competitiveness.
The War Powers Act (WPA) — Constitutional power has been vested in the President of the nation to engage in war, and in the Congress to declare war.
War on Terrorism- Subsequent to 9/11, George Bush proclaimed war on terrorist activities. American policies transformed from reactive suppression and dissuasion approaches to a more preemptive approach of defensive armed action. Defense policy and foreign policy priorities also changed, with the latter’s current central goals being a universal war against terrorism, and homeland defense (Sabato & O’Conner, n.d.).
International human rights- Via the U.S. foreign policy, the nation reflects its standards of universal democracy and freedom (Barna, 2012).
Barna II., W. U.S. Military Intervention for Humanitarian Purposes: Exception to Policy or an Emerging Norm? Retrieved from http://www.hofstra.edu/pdf/library/ulra_military_intervention.pdf
Blanchard, C. N., Humud, C. E., & Nikitin, M. B. D (2015). Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response. Retrieved from https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33487.pdf
Gulf War. Retrieved from http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Gulf-War.pdf
Lindstrom, M. & Zetterlund, K. (2012).Setting the Stage for the Military Intervention in Libya: Decisions Made and Their Implications for the EU and NATO. Retrieved from www.foi.se/…/foir3498.pdf
Sabato, L., & O’connor, K (n.d.) U.S. Foreign and Defense Policy: A Brief Overview the Revolutionary War To the War in Iraq Material from American Government: Continuity and Change. Retrieved from http://www.csun.edu/~rprovin/PDFs/foreign_military_policy.pdf
Torreon, B. S. (2015). Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2015 Analyst in Defense Budget and Military Manpower. Retrieved from https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42738.pdf
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