The purpose of this PowerPoint presentation is to discuss the following course outcomes you have learned about so far in our course. Please make sure you address the following points in your PowerPoint presentation:
Examine the innovations and technological advances directly related to the U.S. military.
Evaluate the strengths of the U.S. military during major military encounters.
Evaluate differences in the U.S. military during times of peace and war.
U.S. Military History
The U.S. military is responsible for introducing a number of innovations and technological advances. The U.S. military introduced used of drones in modern warfare. The development of drones has undergone significant changes since the introduction of the first remote control system in the 1900s (Sharkey, 2011). During World War 1, the U.S. military gained interest in developing drone technology. Between 1910 and 1920, remote controlled aerial torpedoes were already in use. These torpedoes could fly to a specific target without returning, mostly to deliver bombs. During World War II, deployment of remotely controlled vehicles (RPVs) was common. In 1959, development of the first unmanned airplanes became successful. During the Vietnam War in 1960s, drone use became successful in combating enemies. The 1990s saw heavy investment in drone research by the U.S. Department of Defense. This led to development of drones that could conduct aerial attacks, provide imaging capabilities, and help in surveillance.
The U.S, military is responsible for development of nuclear weapons. During World War II, the U.S. launched the Manhattan project, which was a collaboration between the U.S., United Kingdom, and Canada to make nuclear weapons. The launch of this project occurred in 1942. Major General Leslie Groves directed the Manhattan project. The U.S. subsequently conducted the first nuclear test in 1942. The development of nuclear weapons heralded a new dawn in relation to mass destruction. In 1945, the U.S. dropped atomic bombs in the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing thousands of people. Since then, activists have increasingly called for an end to use of nuclear weapons.
The Laser Weapon System is among the recent technologies developed by the U.S. military. The Laser Weapon System uses directed energy to generate high-power microwaves, lasers, or millimeter waves (Brimley, FitzGerald, & Sayler, 2013). The Naval Sea Systems Command is responsible for developing the Laser Weapon System. This technology is an improvement of the commercial fiber solid-state laser technology applied for a variety of commercial purposes. This technology by the Navy is the first to employ high-energy laser weapons to combat enemy at sea. The project was a collaboration involving Naval Research Laboratory, Office of Naval Research, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD), and other industry partners such as the United States Department of Defense.
The U.S. military has developed one of the world’s most sophisticated missile defense systems. The missile defense system is a concept brought to fulfillment by the Missile Defense Agency. The ballistic missile defense system is capable of defending the U.S. against high-attitude and other types of missiles. Research in missile defense systems began in 1945 when the US army realized the need for missile defenses. In 1957, the first missile defense system, the Nike-Zeus system, was developed. The Nike-Zeus missile defense system was later abandoned for Nike X program in 1967. Since then, the U.S. military is keen on developing more improved and sophisticate missile defense systems (U.S. Department of Defense, n.d).
The U.S. military is among the highly equipped military organizations in the world. The U.S. military boasts of sophisticated warfare equipment and communication systems. The U.S. military has modern weapons, airplanes, ships, tanks, and other sophisticated technologies to aid in combat. During the Afghanistan and the Iraq war, the United States’ military capability was evident. The U.S. military employed sophisticated technologies such as drone technology in combat. The U.S. military employed Navy ships with sophisticated technologies to launch attacks to enemy targets in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. also used warplanes to hit enemy targets in various regions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Aerial forces were particularly strong in helping the ground forces combat the enemy.
The U.S. military receives sufficient funding from the federal government to conducts military operations, training, recruitment exercises, and research. The U.S. military spending is the highest in the world. According to The Editorial Board, (2016), the 2016 budget stands at $580 billion, which is about half the discretionary budget. The high spending on military improves its capacity to conduct military operations in any part of the world. Financial constraints are a major challenge that can affect any military organization. The financial constraints not only relate to the actual costs incurred during the war, but also other associated costs such as reconstruction costs and relief. By 2009, the U.S. government had spent $53 billion in reconstruction efforts in Iraq (Williams, 2009).
Experience is of great importance to any military organization. Experience enables the U.S. military to learn from past mistakes and build a stronger force. The U.S. military has in the past engaged in a variety of military warfare including guerilla warfare and urban warfare. This has given the military much experience. The U.S. was historically involved in major wars including the World War I, World War II, The Vietnam War, Korea War, and others gaining vast experience with each. For instance, it was during World War II that the U.S. realized the importance of using unmanned vehicles to reduce deaths of soldiers (Sharkey, 2011).
Support from other countries is of great importance to the U.S. military. The U.S. military receives tremendous support from other countries during combat. For instance during the Iraq War, a number of countries from around the world sent support to aid the American troops in war. This support may be in form of additional forces, equipment, or funding. For instance during the Iraq War, the U.S. military received direct support in terms of troops from various countries such as United Kingdom, Poland, and Australia.
The U.S. military is responsible for protecting the lives of U.S. citizens. The army develops initiatives meant to protect the U.S. against possible attacks from enemies. Thus, even during times of peace, the military is engaged in finding ways of protecting the people from possible attacks. The U.S military occasionally recruits, trains, and arms soldiers. This is in anticipation for any threats that the country may face in the future. During war, the army may recruit a higher number of soldiers in order to meet the war demands.
During times of peace, the U.S. military employs diplomacy to solve conflicts. The U.S. military has actively participated in establishing peace between warring factions in a number of countries. Here, the U.S. plays the role of a mediator. However, during war, the military uses other tactics as well. The military employs force make the enemy surrender. The military uses a number of strategies to achieve this. For instance, strikes against enemy targets to weaken their capacity to fight back.
The U.S. military provides humanitarian assistance to those afflicted by disasters. This includes combat regions, where the military helps civilians or those not directly involved in the war. In conflict regions, the military liberates those under hostile regimes or authorities. The U.S, military also provides support to countries afflicted by natural disasters such as floods. The military often uses aircraft carriers to distribute aid to areas afflicted by conflict. Disaster relief enables the military to portray its softer side to other countries. This is important in improving foreign relations and creating a positive image of the force in overseas countries.
In overseas missions, the U.S. military plays a number of roles. First, the military is responsible for defeating the enemy. Second, the military liberates the oppressed or those who were under dictatorial regime. Thirdly, the military provides relief efforts to those affected by the war. The military is responsible for providing a general overview of the war situation and its impact on civilians. The military may then request assistance for civilians affected by war. In addition, the military plays a critical role in reconstruction efforts of countries ravaged by war (Williams, 2009). For instance, the military is involved in reconstruction efforts in countries such as Iraq that experienced the ravages of war.