military, as exemplified in the two (2) real-Life international incidents that you have researched. Justify your response.
America is not merely a superpower — the nation is also commonly known as the ‘Policeman of the World’, owing to its many interventions in resolving global issues. Time and again, the world has expected USA to intercede and play the role of mediator when issues crop up around the world. The world feels helpless when the nation hesitates or does not keep up to people’s expectation while intervening. Two international incidents in which America opted for an unexpected course while simultaneously striving to keep from regular military action are the Libyan Revolution and Syrian Civil War. Other nations’ reaction in the former case and the retention of America’s position in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) serve to confirm the fact that USA is, indeed, the ‘policeman’ of the world.
Two Recent International Events Depicting U.S. Military Interventions as Fallout of Its Post- WWI Foreign Policy
Syrian Civil War
The political disturbance that emerged in Syria in early 2011 grew into a large-scale revolution, when the country’s government reacted to originally peaceful protests with growing despotism. At the outset, isolated violent acts by members who opposed state authorities were met with brutal military responses; civilians were killed and a cyclical trend of increasingly stronger retaliatory clashes was set off. Extremist groups started emerging and armed civilians and army defectors overpowered the national military in a few early clashes. Territorial control, thus, transferred into opposition’s hands, and governmental monopoly on Syrian population and territory was lost.
Since the year 2012, Obama’s Administration has been involved actively in multilateral attempts to arrive at a negotiated pact between Syria’s government and the numerous groups that stand against it. Several unarmed as well as armed opposition members have demanded that all government officials responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians be ousted and prosecuted for their crimes; this includes the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad. Further, opposition groups also demand preservation and restructuring of important security institutions. America, in its attempts, has combined nonlethal aid to specific opposition groups, support to screened Syrian opposition groups for specific purposes, overt training, and reported undercover support to a few armed forces, as well as the frequently-stated governmental assertion that ‘the conflict has no military resolution’.
The aforementioned statement indicates the affirmed American preference for preserving some components of Syria’s system over military moves, lack of which may cause a collapse of the entire State. The Obama government, while still asserting that a negotiated pact is their aim and that Assad’s government has lost the right to rule, has publicly adopted partial overt involvement in the Syrian conflict since the middle of last year. The U.S. initiated armed operations against extremist groups like Islamic State; arguably, such operations have succeeded in destabilizing extremist domination in some regions of Syria.
So far, Congressional members have not arrived at any level of agreement, with regard to the war in Syria, which would promote a political shift and reformation, or help combat extremist groups like Islamic State. Gradually, a few Congressional members have demanded different kinds of intervention by the American military for destabilizing extremist groups or safeguarding civilians in specific Syrian regions. Some governmental members go further to support increased training and arming of moderate Syrian opposition forces by the U.S. Others, on the other hand, have cautioned the government about the likely unplanned repercussions of deeper involvement by the U.S.
Congress has also not arrived at any agreement regarding how or whether any reduced involvement by America and other allies can result in improved management of the negative results of continuous, unmitigated war. Congressional members, observers, and government officials are still in disagreement over which deterrents and inducements may be most successful in having an influence on combatants and those who support them. Even less clear are the responsibilities America and other intervening parties are ready to take for achieving a comprehensive political evolution acceptable to the people of Syrian; safeguarding civilians; defending U.S. partners; fostering settlement and answerability; or taking part in the reconstruction of a nation devastated by several years of severe conflict (Blanchard et al., 2015).
In February of 2011, the world incredulously witnessed the onset of revolution in Libya mere weeks after Egypt and Tunisia were struck by internal revolts. Widespread protests ensued against Gaddafi’s rule following an attack by security forces on protesters demanding a human rights activist’s release in Benghazi. The rebellion soon became an armed struggle; when the protests increased in strength, Libyan President Gaddafi gave to order to launch aerial attacks upon rebels. USA’s government closed down the American embassy in Libyan capital, Tripoli in February, followed by imposing unilateral penalties against Libya, a day ahead of the United Nations’ demand for multilateral penalties. President Obama declared in March that the Gaddafi rule had lost legality and, therefore, must step down. Apart from the aforementioned action, the U.S. remained inconspicuous through all the events and the Libyan military campaign. Political commentators criticized Obama for being hesitant.
The League of Arab States, on the 12th of March, petitioned, to the United Nations Security Council, for imposing a no-flight zone over Libya. Robert Gates, Defense Secretary, was one of the most insistent skeptics against this NFZ proposal; he believed it would not suffice and that ultimately, there would be a need for assigning American ground troops to Libya. Seven days later, under the1973 UNSCR (UN Security Council Resolution) mandate, an armed campaign was launched by an alliance of willing members for protecting the Libyan civilian population.
America was hesitant to involve itself in the Libyan issue. The U.S. was, mainly, persuaded to act by a few Congressional Members and human rights organizations. The U.S. public, however, was opposed to intervention. It was revealed through public opinion surveys that while most American citizens were disturbed by the goings-on in Libya, they did not believe the U.S. was duty-bound to intervene. However, as soon as it stepped in, the United States contributed significantly to the issue, militarily as well as politically. The government made it obvious, quite early into its intervention, that its Libyan military campaign would be short-lived, with limited scope.
Around 10 days after stepping in, America withdrew its attacking elements, assuming a ‘back-seat’ or supportive role, and only contributing unique resources. The U.S.A.’s European allies greatly relied on its capabilities, with the U.S. accounting for a majority of air monitoring, 80% of total air-to-air refueling, and virtually, total electronic warfare subsequent to the assigning of overall command to NATO. One point to note is that USA’s presence continued to be significant even after NATO took control of the armed campaign’s operational command, as USA dominates the organization, militarily as well as politically. In the Libyan campaign, a large number of American military commanders held top posts in the control and command system of NATO (Lindstrom & Zetterlund, 2012).
US’s rise as a Super Power since 1865
Roosevelt Corollary- This document states that America is responsible for ensuring stability in the Caribbean and Latin America. The U.S., under this canon, sent armed forces to several states including Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Haiti, and Dominican Republic. Roosevelt, in the year 1903, sent the U.S. naval forces to Panama for helping free it from Colombia. USA initiated the Panama Canal’s construction in 1904. By the time the world entered the 20 thcentury, America had already embarked on a journey to become a global power.
World War-I- The U.S. contributed more than five million men to the First World War. Additionally, it provided allied countries with huge loans and resources for war. It resorted to strategic isolationism and high-tariff policy. The war brought about a growth of U.S. economy, making it the world’s largest economic power.
Spanish American War- America concentrated on the West, and on taking control of the continent, for several years, adding to its territory until its boundaries ranged from the Pacific to the Atlantic. In this period, it also annexed a few Pacific territories (i.e., islands such as Hawaii). The 1898, Spanish American War facilitated its acquisition of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa; U.S. also gained control over Cuba. This war served to elevate America to ‘superpower’ status (Sabato & O’Conner, n.d.)
American Policing role since World War II
Korean War (1950-1953) America aided South Korea when it was invaded by North Korea, following UN Security Council resolutions. In 1953, over 300,000 U.S. armed forces were deployed in the country.
Laos (1962-1975) America played a major role was by providing military aid to anti-Communists.
Somalia (1992-1993) American deployed its military in this country for handling a humanitarian issue, when a U.N. Resolution decided that the crisis threatened world peace (Torreon, 2015).
Gulf War- This war was waged on Iraq by a United Nations-sanctioned coalition force comprising military personnel from 34 countries (headed by America), as a response to the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait (www.saylor.org)
International Policy Decisions
American foreign policy- It denotes action taken by USA’s government in support of its overseas interests, for ensuring economic competitiveness and strength.
The War Powers Act (WPA) –The American President assumes constitutional power to wage war in foreign territories; the U.S. Congress is empowered to declare war.
War on Terrorism- Following the 9/11 terror attacks, the then-President George Bush, declared war against terrorism. U.S. policies underwent a transformation from reactive dissuasion and suppression strategies to a preemptive role of defensive military action. Priorities of defense and foreign policies underwent a change after the 9/11 attacks. Now, the central goals of America’s foreign policy are homeland defense and a worldwide war on terrorism (Sabato & O’Conner, n.d.).
International human rights- Through its foreign policy, America projects its principle of freedom as well as democracy across the globe (Barna, 2012).
Policeman Of The World 8
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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