Archive for July, 2010

Imperialists or Playing it Safe

July 10th, 2010 Comments off
What Are We?

Currently, there is much talk about the United States as a “war mongering” nation. Whether or not there is any truth in the accusation has generated enough interest that several major news organizations are actively running investigations. At the very least, there is a trend among some political parties that shows a definite proclivity for war. The number is comparatively small when measured against the rest of the United States’ population.

Nevertheless, some of these groups carry an inordinate amount of sway when it comes to sending American troops into harm’s way. Rather than talk about America’s decent into imperialism, or even the vague reasons behind it, a look at recent American history and the use of its military since 1950 might give the reader a better perspective without adding opinion to the mix.

Starting with 1950 the following is a list of overseas operation involving the United States military: 1950-53—Korean War, 1950-55—Formosa (Taiwan), 1958—Lebanon, 1962—Thailand, 1962—Cuba, 1962-75—Laos, 1964-67—Congo, 1964-73—Vietnam War, 1965—Dominican Republic, 1967—Congo, 1970—Cambodia, 1974—Evacuation from Cyprus, 1975—Evacuation from Vietnam, 1975—Evacuation from Cambodia, 1975—Mayaguez Incident, 1976—Lebanon, 1976—Korea, 1978—Zaire, 1980—Iran, 1981—El Salvador, 1981—Libya, 1982—Sinai, 1982-1983—Lebanon, 1983—Egypt, 1983-89—Honduras, 1983—Chad, 1983—Grenada, 1984—Persian Gulf, 1985—Italy, 1986—Libya, 1986—Bolivia, 1987-88—Persian Gulf, 1988-1990—Panama, 1989—Libya, 1989—Panama, 1989—Andean Initiative in War on Drugs, 1989—Philippines, 1989-90—Panama, 1990—Liberia, 1990–Saudi Arabia, 1991—Iraq, 1991—Iraq, 1991—Zaire, 1992—Sierra Leone, 1992—Kuwait, 1992—Iraq, 1992—Somalia, 1993—Iraq, 1993—Iraq, 1993—Bosnia, 1993—Somalia, 1993—Iraq, 1993—Macedonia, 1993—Haiti, 1994—Rwanda, 1994—Macedonia, 1994—Haiti, 1994—Bosnia, 1995—Bosnia, 1995—Haiti, 1996—Liberia, 1996—Rwanda and Zaire, 1996—Bosnia, 1997—Albania, 1997—Sierra Leone, 1997—Bosnia, 1998—Guinea-Bissau, 1998—Bosnia, 1998—Kenya and Tanzania, 1998—Albania, 1998—Afghanistan and Sudan, 1998—Liberia, 1998—Iraq, 1999—Bosnia, 1999—Kenya, 1999—Yugoslavia, 1999—Yugoslavia/Albania, 1999—Yugoslavia/Kosovo, 1999—Bosnia, 1999—East Timor, 1999-2000—Iraq, 2000—Bosnia, 2000—East Timor, 2000—Sierra Leone, 2000—Yemen, 2000—Yugoslavia/Kosovo, 2001—East Timor, 2001—Yugoslavia/Kosovo, 2001—Bosnia, 2001—Iraq, 2001—East Timor, 2001—Terrorism Threat, 2001—Afghanistan, 2001—Yugoslavia/Kosovo, 2002—Bosnia, 2002—East Timor, 2002—Terrorism Threat, 2002—Yugoslavia/Kosovo, 2002—Bosnia, 2002—Terrorism Threat, 2002—Cote d’Ivoire, 2003—Bosnia, 2003–Terrorism Threat, 2003—Iraq War, 2003—Yugoslavia/Kosovo, 2003—Liberia, 2003—Bosnia, 2003—Liberia, 2003—Terrorism Threat, 2004—Bosnia, 2004—Haiti, 2004—Terrorism: Bosnia and Haiti, 2005—Iraq, 2006—Iraq, 2007—Iraq/Afghanistan, 2008—Iraq/Afghanistan and 2009—Iraq/Afghanistan.

Looking over the list reveals 50-years of continuous United States military involvement overseas. The list shows only 11 years when the US military remained relatively idle in the past 60 years exceeding even former enemies like the Soviet Union by an almost 4:1 margin. During the past ten years, the US military engaged in nearly 30 overseas operations, compared with 10 during the preceding 40 years. What is the aswer?

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