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American Military History: Total vs. Limited War - Assignment Example

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American Military History: Total Vs Limited War American Military History: Total vs. Limited War The United States is a country that has engaged in several military wars both within and beyond its borders. The objectives of fighting these wars have often varied from one war to another…
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American Military History: Total vs. Limited War

Download file to see previous pages... In fact, America still stands as the world superpower and has the military capability to fight a war of any magnitude. The U.S. has often adopted different styles and tactics in the wars it fought in the past. These include total war and limited war styles. Total war refers to a military antagonism in which the contenders in the war mobilizes and uses all their military resources, including civilians to win the war. Carl von Clausewitz was the brain behind the concept of total war in which he emphasized the need to destroy the enemy’s forces in military conflict. According to Clausewitz, defeating an enemy require mobilizing all civilians and military arsenals to crash the enemy forces2. The United States has used this concept in some of the wars it has engaged in the past. These include the Civil War and World War II. In these wars, the U.S. mobilized all its civilians are military resources in order to win the war3. For instance, America used all its civilians and military resources during the Civil War of 1861 to defeat the South, which were strong and intelligent in fighting. Report indicates that the U.S. forces resorted to total war in order to destroy the Southern forces with the aim of forcing them to surrender4. The Allied forces also fought a total war during World War II, in which all military resources and civilians were used to force the opponents to surrender. In fact, these were arguably the toughest wars that America has ever fought. As a result, U.S. military still use the Civil War and World War II as the benchmark of any other military war. As aforementioned, the U.S. has also used limited war in some instances. The Vietnam War is a classical example of military war that the U.S. fought using limited force. The U.S. mainly employed the use of Guerilla and unconventional tactics and minimal battles in the Vietnam War. Unlimited war tactic, unlike total war, are wars in which the U.S. used limited military resources and society5. In the Vietnam War, the over 500,000 U.S. forces resorted to the use of defensive tactics in South Vietnam without using its military power to march on to Hanoi. Research also indicates that, after the 1968 war, the U.S. military airstrikes were limited to interdiction objectives. It became apparent that the U.S. Based on the wars that the U.S. has fought in the past, it becomes apparent that the U.S. military has engaged mainly on limited war, as opposed to total war. It is true that America has engaged in total war, in some instances, as was the case during World War I, the Civil War, and World War II6. However, most wars it has engaged in the past were mainly limited with the aim of protection, pacification or for profiteering. For example, the same way the U.S. applied limited force during the Vietnam War it did the same by engaging in a limited war during the territorial expansion war in the 19th century in which it used limited military force to achieve its political objectives. These wars include the Spanish-American War, the Mexican War, and the Indian Wars. When these wars are analyzed based on Clausewitz definition of use of force and effort as well as the destruction caused, it becomes apparent that these wars involved use of limited force and effort. In all these wars, limited military forces were used to coerce the adversaries to accept peace in their countries and to result in territorial expansion. It became evident that these wars ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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