The U.S. has one of the strongest and most equipped military forces around the world. Over the years, the U.S. has been involved in a number of military operations abroad, with mixed reactions from both the America public and the world. Some factions support the U.S. involvement in military operations abroad claiming it is necessary, while others see it as an infringement on people’s rights and a show of power to the less developed states.
The U.S. military intervention in foreign states play a positive role in improving the quality of lives of citizens in these states as exemplified in the military interventions.
Over the recent past, the U.S. has been involved in a number of military interventions abroad. In 2011, the U.S. and other allied European countries launched an operation against Muammar Qaddafi, the then sitting president. This operation was meant to impose a no-fly zone sanction which had been imposed by United Nations, and to ouster Qaddafi from presidency. According to Kirkpatrick, Erlanger, & Bumilller (2011), the military intervention against the then sitting President Qaddafi was driven by reports that forces allied to Qaddafi had planned to attack Benghazi, a town dominated by rebels. This is despite calls for cease-fire between the two warring factions. Qaddafi was accused of perpetrating aggressive actions throughout Libya on all those opposing his regime. The United Nations deemed it appropriate to protect Libyan civilians from the atrocities of Qaddafi regime.
The U.S. is currently involved in military operations in Syria, to root out elements of the ISIL group which has reigned terror in the region over the past few years. Most of the military operations in Syria involve airstrikes against ISIL in ISIL controlled territory. ISIL is a terrorist group involved in various atrocities in the Middle East, ranging from mass murders, abduction of children who are trained as child fighters, abduction of women, among other heinous crimes. The U.S. military intervention in Syria has helped curtail the spread of ISIL and their influence in the region through launching missile strikes against ISIL targets. The U.S. has also been involved in curtailing the advancement of ISIL in other regions of the world including Libya.
Aspects of U.S. history since 1865
- The experiences from the World War I (1917) created the need to establish the most equipped and mightiest military in the entire world. In addition, most countries suffered great damages during the war which gave the U.S. a good head-start.
- Second, the U.S. involvement in the Cold War established the need for the U.S. to act as protector or leader of the free world.
- The rise of capitalism in the U.S. encouraged more production and innovation. The U.S. was thus able to develop and advance weapons which could be used in war (Cobbs, Blum, & Gjerde, 2012).
International incidents since World War II where America has taken on a policing role
- The civil war in Somalia – following the outbreak of a civil war in Somalia in 1991, the U.S. and the United Nations peacekeeping forces were involved in trying to establish peace in the region.
- The U.S. was involved in the Vietnam War between 1954 and 1975.
- The Iraq War between 2003 and 2011 – the U.S. was involved in ousting Saddam Hussein from power.
Driving forces that fueled international policy decisions involving international incidents outlined
- The need to protect the U.S. from outside threats.
- The need to protect the rights of civilians in different countries.
- The need to check on extremists and international terrorist organizations.
Cobbs, H. E., Blum, E. J., & Gjerde, J. (2012). Major problems in American history: Documents and essays / edited by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Edward J. Blum, Jon Gjerde. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Kirkpatrick, D., Erlanger, S., & Bumiller, E. (2011, March 19). Allies Open Air Assault on Qaddafi’s Forces in Libya. The New York Times.
Lee, C. E., Entous, A., & Gorman, S. (2013 Aug. 30). U.S. Prepares for Solo Strike on Syria After Britain Balks. The Wall Street Journal.