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The role of the U.S. Military in keeping internatinal peace - Essay Example

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Since the end of the WWII, the US government has focused on international peacekeeping and world's order. The aim of its peacekeeping missions is to maintain global peace and protect human rights and freedoms of weak nations and innocent populations. Today, US planners focus on the most demanding of military contingencies that will directly affect the United States itself…
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The role of the U.S. Military in keeping internatinal peace
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Download file to see previous pages To the extent that U.S. military force can enhance international stability and the durability of the types of legitimate governments that would address these issues seriously and effectively, it may have an important role to play.
In dealing with the threat posed by tyrannies in Asian countries the United States attempts to promote strains within the patron-client relationship. Locally generated conflicts, or at least some types of these conflicts, can have severe security implications for states friendly to, or allied with, the United States and by indirect means for the United States itself (Sturkey20). Indeed, the US administration has highlighted the danger that such contingencies could pose to the United States when he cited the Iranian air attack on Kuwaiti oil fields as an example of the vulnerability of Persian Gulf facilities-notably those of Saudi Arabia-to sneak attack Other contingencies pose dangers that may not have evoked presidential comment, but are no less important for their latency. Not every local contingency can be expected to have the impact of the seizure of Abyssinia on the fortunes of the global balance, but indifference to anything other than the obvious threat could mistakenly be perceived as impotence and lead to a concatenation of events climaxing in a conflict (Sturkey24).
The history of US military peacekeeping operations goes back to the Cold War years and is closely connected with armed conflicts between nation-states. Following Zwanenburg (2005): 'A definition of' peacekeeping operations' by the UN in 199) reflects the main principles over the years, a peacekeeping operation has come to he defined as an operation involving military personnel" (17). Local contingencies may indeed involve full-scale wars between two states. The Iran-Iraq war, the Horn of Africa conflict, which lasted some nine months, and the shorter conflicts between Pakistan and India in 1971, between China and Vietnam and between the Yemens in 1979 all involved major force commitments between combatant states. At the other extreme, a local "contingency" might extend beyond the boundaries of the state in question. With the hindsight of a decade, one might classify the 1969 dethronement of King Idris of Libya as such an event. Less obvious, but potentially important for long-term U.S. influence in West Africa, might be the removal of the Tolbert regime by a previously obscure master sergeant named, appropriately enough, Doe. Falling between these extremes, with extremity defined by the level of armed force committed in each case, are various forms of popular uprisings against a government in power. Here a distinction might be made between relatively swift overthrow of government, notably coups and mass civilian revolts, and drawn-out guerrilla operations (Sturkey 32).
Of the civilian revolts not directly involving the superpowers, by far the most serious for international stability was that which took place in Iran. The revolt against the shah clearly was locally inspired, though it was not immune from foreign (notably Soviet) encouragement. Popular feeling against the shah was manifest in a wide array of "disparate groups, classes and individuals" (Sturkey43). The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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