Category Archives: American Military History

The Army’s Role in Homeland Security

Question

To what extent does the Army’s role in the homeland security of the United States blur the lines of authority between strictly military and civil authorities in domestic affairs? What are some of the dangers of greater military involvement in such matters? Is there a threat of demoralization among both civilian and enlisted attitudes toward the military as a result of these actions?

Answer       

The Army’s Role in Homeland Security

The nation’s Army provides assistance to federal, state and local agencies in times of disasters (manmade or natural), during restoration of critical services, and in public safety matters. The scope of the Army has increased in the 21st century due to the emergence of new threats, mainly from terrorism and terror-related threats in the country. Emerging threats include use of nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, radiological weapons, and cyberattacks. In order to curtail the possibility of attacks or respond to an attack, there is need for greater coordination among the various security organs. There is a clear distinction between the roles of the Army in homeland security and that of the military and civil affairs on the same. In some circumstances, the Army helps the military and civil authorities depending on the nature of the situation on the ground.

The Army has been involved in homeland security for a long time. One of the notable roles in homeland security is defending the borders. The Army supports the civil authorities during emergencies, riots, and natural disasters that overwhelm the civil authorities’ capacity to respond (Davis et al., 2004). The Army is largely involved in helping with smaller activities such as battling forest fires, providing assistance in times of floods, during times of earthquakes, and others. There are hardly any conflicts between the Army and civil authorities in responding to these incidences. This is because the Army only responds when ordered by the President to respond to an incident that overwhelms the civil authority. It is worth noting that there are legal and policy restrictions that must be taken into consideration before calling Army members in active duty in matters pertaining to homeland security.

There are certain dangers to greater military involvement in the domestic affairs of the country. The military exists to protect the country and its allies from foreign invasion. Thus, when the military becomes more involved in domestic affairs, this indicates a deviation from the original purpose for which it was created. This can also lead conflicts and tension between the military and the civil authorities, who may feel their role is being taken by the military. There is the notion that the military should not boss around the citizens; for the military was created to deal with external threats (Davis et al., 2004). Civil authorities have a close connection to communities and neighborhoods compared to the military. Civil authorities are able to interact with communities and obtain crucial information about crime. This makes civil authorities the best in responding to domestic issues in the country.

There is a potential threat to demoralization between both the civilian and enlisted attitudes toward the military. Too much military involvement in homeland security can lead to demoralization among civil authorities since they may perceive that the higher authorities does not have trust or confidence in them to provide internal security (Langeland, 2006). This can be demoralizing for them. There is also the risk of a negative attitude towards the military due to involvement in domestic affairs. Most people are accustomed to dealing with civil authorities in solving various domestic challenges rather than relying on the military.

References

Davis, L. E., Mosher, D. E., Brennan, R. R., Greenberg, M. D., McMahon., S., & Yost, C. W. M.             (20034). Army forces for Homeland security. Retrieved from             http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2004/RAND_MG221.pdf

Langeland, T. (2006). Warriors, rescuers, spooks: the U.S. Military’s growing involvement in      domestic affairs. Retrieved from            http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2006/jan/18/warriors-rescuers-spooks-the-us- militarys-growing/

American Military History

What dynamics (i.e., global threats) have increasingly forced the United States to assume this role of world’s policeman

Question

With the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States was faced with the prospect of playing the role of the “world’s policeman.” What dynamics (i.e., global threats) have increasingly forced the United States to assume this role? What role did, and should, allies play in this effort?

Answer

What dynamics (i.e., global threats) have increasingly forced the United States to assume this role of world’s policeman

For decades, the United States of America has been on the forefront to enforce some kind of international standard with the threat of force from enemies and protect the weak from attacks. For the country to be in a position to play such an important role, it has been forced to invest heavily in the military.  As of the world today, the U.S military power and capability is ridiculously significant making it one of the largest, best trained and best-equipped armies in the world. Statistics clearly show that the United States government spends the largest part of its budget on defense and military more than the total budget of the next eight world largest militaries in the globe today (Boot, 2014). This assignment will attempt to identify and explain the reasons behind America’s world police status today.

At the beginning of first and send world war, United States had vowed not to engage itself in issues pertaining Europe and the rest of the world and this isolation policy influenced her rice to power. However, isolation did not work and it took quite a long time and a lot of funding for the country to cross the Atlantic. Moreover, at the start of the 20th century, the country was still focused on American affairs and was interested in protecting the western hemisphere at all cost. However, when her interests were disrupted by the wars, America eventually got involved in the war to protect her people and interest. America involvement in the war gifted the allied side the victory and America emerged as a superpower.

Moreover, the fall of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, which was considered as a threat to the Western Europe meant that the United States was the remaining superpower in the world.  Besides, after the fall of the USSR, most countries felt that they needed independence and the power was handed to NATO. However, NATO was unable to maintain order and safety for all countries, especially in the Middle East, where military leadership was rampant, and their intention to remain in power prompted them to buy military hardware which could only be purchased from the United States.  Given her military power and status, the American military industry was able to supply guns and other military materials to other countries keeping her at the forefront of military sales as well as the control of the military hardware sales in the globe (Epstein, 2014). Through deciding who was to receive or purchase the hardware and those not allowed to own them, she began policing the world.

At the begging of the war, only a few American households owned a television. However, as the war progressed more people became glued to their televisions, and this influenced the turn of the war.  The Vietnam War was branded as a television war owing to the impacts televised media had on how Americans experienced the conflict. As a result, 1968 marked the turning point of the war mainly because of the war fought on the television and the newspapers. One of the major effects of the media broadcast on the war was the development of anti-war movement at home after the My Lai massacre which increased media attention but forgot the United States soldiers in Vietnam (Epstein, 2014). Moreover, the lack of censorship in the news broadcasted by journalists who joined the soldiers in combat really demoralized the soldiers as well as led to a public outcry against the war. In addition, the intense negative coverage of the war influenced politicians, scholars and the general public who withdrew their support. The media negatively influenced the war.

In conclusion, it is correct to say that the United States is the only remaining superpower in the world today given its military size, training, and power. As a result, most of the developing and undeveloped countries, call on herd for help and guidance both economically, politically and military wise.

References

Boot, M. (. (2014). The savage wars of peace: Small wars and the rise of American power. Basic Books.

Epstein, J. M. (2014). Measuring military power: the Soviet air threat to Europe. Princeton University Press.

American Military History

US military spending trends between end of Korean War and present day

Question

US military spending trends between end of Korean War and present day

Answer

US Military Spending Trends

The US military spending was at its peak during World War II, where it comprised about 41 percent of the entire GDP (Oatley, 2015). At the end of World War II, US military spending experienced a dramatic fall to about 7 percent of the country’s GDP. At the onset of the Korean War, military spending increased slightly to about 15% of the country’s GDP. It is clear that the nature of ongoing war significantly affects the budget set aside for military operations. In wars that are closer home, the US spends significantly more compared to a situation where the US is protecting its allies. This paper examines the US military spending trends since the end of the Korean War to the present day

At the end of the Korean War, US military spending declined significantly in the years to come. For instance in 1953, military spending was at its highest at about 15% of GDP, and falling to about 13% of the GDP in the following year (Oatley, 2015). From 1955 to 1965, the US reduced its share of military spending to an average of 10% of the GDP. The reason for the over 10% of GDP military spending is due to tension between the Western Bloc comprising of US and its’ allies and the Eastern Bloc comprising of the Soviet Union and its’ allies. Tension between these blocs led to the Cold War, which lasted until the early 1990s. Between 1966 and 1968, there was a slight spike in the US military spending from about 7% of GDP to about 10% of GDP. The slight increase in military spending was triggered by Vietnam War buildup (Higgs, 1988). Another factor was growing tension between the US and Germany.

From 1968, US military spending declined significantly over the coming years. The US military spending averaged 5% of GDP between 1972 and 1978 (Oatley, 2015). From 1982, a buildup began, which involved increasing the military arsenal of the US. The increase in military spending coincides with Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. The increase resulted to a spending of about 7% of the GDP. The US government maintained the large spending up to 1988 when it declined. The slight increase in this period is not associated with any major war, and was perhaps President Reagan’s personal decision to prop up the US military in case of war or an attack on American soil (Higgs, 1988). It is also worth noting that the government could have been considering the possibility of responding to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

Between 1988 and 2001, US military spending declined considerably, going as low as 3.5% of GDP in 2001. The low spending in this period is attributed to the relative peace and stability that prevailed (Oatley, 2015). From 2002, US military spending increased significantly, attaining a peak of about 5.7% of GDP in 2010. By the end of 2001, it became apparent that US military spending would increase. This was after the September 11, 2001 attacks and the subsequent declaration of the war against terror (Chantrill, 2016). Following the terrorist attacks, the US invaded Afghanistan in an effort to capture Osama bin Laden and dismantle the Al-Qaeda group operating in the country. The involvement of the US in this war contributed to a spike in US military budget. The US received support from key allies such as the United Kingdom and NATO. The Afghanistan War and the subsequent invasion in Iraq became the longest wars that the US had become involved in, spanning for an entire decade up to 2010.

From 2010 to 2015, the US military spending has been on the decline. From as high as 5.7% of GDP in 2010, the US military spending has significantly declined in the last five years (Chantrill, 2016). For instance, spending fell to about 4.5% in 2011 and 4.2% in 2012 (Chantrill, 2016). The decline in spending is occasion by the US government withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq. In the recent past, the government, having capture Osama bin Laden, has embarked in an effort to withdraw all troops from the two countries and prop up new governments. In Afghanistan, the United Nations has stepped up efforts to end the conflict between the government and Taliban. In 2014, the US announced its plans to stop all combat operations in the country and to withdraw its presence from the country. In Iraq, the US withdrew its military in 2011, although there were still private contractors backed by the US government. In 2014, the US became re-involved in military operations in Iraq following an eruption of violence. However, this did not have a significant impact on the budget.

The US military spending is projected to decrease in the coming period. This due to relative peace and stability lack of imminent threats to US interests. It is worth noting that most of the spikes in spending are triggered by foreign events that threaten the sovereignty of the country or of allied nations. Relative peace and stability will thus result to lower military spending.

References

Chantrill, C. (2016). A century of defense spending. Retrieved from             http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/defense_spending

Higgs, R. (1988). Policy analysis. Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 114. Retrieved from             https://object.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa114.pdf

Oatley, T. (2015). A political economy of American hegemony. Cambridge: Cambridge   University Press.

What factors contributed to the success of American arms in the war against Germany and Italy during World War II

The Vietnam War

Question

Keeping in mind that NSC-68 set the parameters of policy discussions and military planning, explain how and why the United States got into the Vietnam War and why it could not seem to get out. Include a discussion of the weight of the Soviet Cold War threat on this engagement.

Answer

The Vietnam War

Question 1

Following the Geneva Conference in 1954, Vietnam was partitioned into two – South Vietnam, and the North Vietnam. North Vietnam followed communist doctrines while North Vietnam had a non-communist leadership. In 1955, North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam, taking advantage of the weak South Vietnam leadership (Kaiser, 2000). The South Vietnamese Army was vulnerable, and was described as nothing more than a group of ill-equipped rebels. This contributed to the U.S. getting involved in the war, since the south lacked adequate resources to liberate itself. The United States got involved in the Vietnam War in order to contain the spread of communism. The NSC-68 report documented the way forward with regard to the country’s military affairs. However, the rise of communism was seen as imminent threat since it had spread in many parts of Asia. In 1949, China adopted communism, sparking fears that the rest of South-East Asia would follow suit (Kaiser, 2000). The United States felt the need to curtail the growing spread of communism.

The other factor contributing to the United States involvement in the war is the domino theory. This theory stipulates that if a country falls into communism, then the neighboring countries would inevitably fall into communism (Kaiser, 2000). The United States held the notion that if South Vietnam fell into communism, neighboring states such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and others would fall into communism (Kaiser, 2000). The war did not seem to end since North Vietnam engaged in guerilla warfare. In essence, although the North Vietnamese would lose, the guerilla tactics meant that war was still on. In addition, the U.S. could not afford to lose face as the superpower by withdrawing from the war, which was not ending due to the guerilla tactics (Kaiser, 2000). The weight of the Soviet Cold War threat fell on the U.S. Cold War involved the United States and its allies against the Soviet Union and its allies. Soviet Union, just like North Vietnam, was a communist state. The United States had to be careful not to escalate the war into World War III, where Soviet Union, China and other communist states would back North Vietnam.

Question 2

The North Vietnamese colonel meant that even though the country lost the actual war in the battlefront, it stilled achieved the goals of the war. North Vietnam was overpowered in the battlefront but it eventually won by conquering South Vietnam. The major goal of North Vietnam in pursuing the war was to unite the South under a communist regime. After a long-protracted war, the United States lost the will to fight, eventually withdrawing its forces from South Vietnam. This gave North Vietnam the power to conquer South Vietnam and turn it into a communist state (Tazabecki, n.d). Thus as the colonel says, it is irrelevant whether the U.S. defeated North Vietnam or not. What is relevant is that North Vietnam achieved its war objectives. From the perspective of the North Vietnamese people, this is a war they worn; especially with the toppling of the South and introduction of communist rule.

The colonel’s reply highlights the myths surrounding the Vietnamese War, where some people argue that the United States “lost” in the war. However, losing in the battle could have different implications. For instance, does losing constitute body count or the amount of territory that one faction is able to annex and control? During the spring Offensive that ultimately say the conquering of the South in 1975, the American forces had already withdrawn from the battleground (Tazabecki, n.d). Thus according to the colonel, the conquering of the South represented a defeat of the American foreign policy. The political goals of the U.S. had also been thwarted, which was a win for North Vietnam. The U.S. hoped that it would establish a free and independent South Vietnam, but these plans fell in disarray as the battle had dragged for a long period. Pressure from U.S. citizens and civil groups had forced the government to withdraw its forces from Vietnam.

References

Kaiser, D. E. (2000). American tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the origins of the Vietnam War. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Tazabecki, D. (n.d). Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., was a soldier, scholar, military analyst,         writer, editor and friend. Retrieved from     http://www.clausewitz.com/readings/SummersObitText.htm

What factors contributed to the success of American arms in the war against Germany and Italy during World War II

What impact did S. presidential decrees and doctrines on military policy haye on the structure and mission of the military during the Cold War of the 1940s?

Question

The role of the military in the United States is always impacted by the nation’s civilian leaders, by public opinion, and by available resources, including technology. For this assignment, consider the relationship of the military establishment with these other factors as you craft your essay.

For this essay you must address the following concepts

  1. What impact did S. presidential decrees and doctrines on military policy haye on the structure and mission of the military during the Cold War of the 1940s?

  2. Summarize the impact of technological advances pertaining to modern warfare on the role of the S. military’s response to the concepts of the New Look and Flexible Response policies.

Answer

AMERICAN MILITARY HISTORY

After the Second World War, the United States and Russia emerged as superpowers who went ahead to dominate the global politics and economics for a decade. However, their similarities end there considering that one country adopted capitalism while the other adopted socialism. The cold war was the most important political issue of the early postwar period that grew out of longstanding disagreements between the Soviet Union and the United States. Different United States president has implemented different rules and military policies that have shaped the American military history over the years (Bellamy, 2015).  This assignment will attempt to tackle in details some of the policies that have been adopted over the years and their impacts on the military forces, particularly in the 1640s.

Question 1

When Franklin D. Roosevelt became the president, he turned his attention from international affairs to domestic affairs considering that domestic problems immediate and important to him. One of the foreign policy adopted by President Franklin that effect on the military is the good neighbor policy and pan-Americanism. This policy encouraged cooperation with the Latin Americans countries, and most of these countries were happy by his abandonment of the Theodore Roosevelt’s intervention policy.  This led to a period of stagnation pertaining military power and equipment considering that their skills were not put into practice since the country had abandoned its intervention policies. The good neighbor policy led to the withdrawal of American marines from Haiti as well as giving up the right to police the Panama government. This meant that the American military had little or no responsibility when it comes to war and could not gain any experience. On the contrary, President Truman did not believe in good neighbor policy and was ready to intervene in any international affairs just to protect American affairs in the international community. As a result, Truman intervened with American troops in the conflict between North Korea and South Korea and went on to support the creation of the state of Israel in the Middle East. Moreover, he went on to reorganize the nation’s military and security apparatus with the passage of the national security act of 1947 (Manjikian, 2014). The new act helped in unifying the army, the navy and the air force under a national military establishment.  President Truman’s intervention policy increased military power as he was ready to protect American interests in all ways. Moreover, this meant that he would equip his military as well as pump more funds for their training to make sure that they are ready whenever called to serve their country.

Question 2

Over the years, the military has gone through a revolution owing to the ever growing and advancing technology in the globe today.  War has a long history that dates back to the dawn of civilization, but armies have come a long way since the spear or the bow and arrow. Advances in technology have led to faster airplanes, laser-guided weapons, and unmanned, bomb-carrying vehicles.  Some of the technology and innovations that are likely to shape modern warfare include:

  1. Drones – combat drones, which are usually referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles enable troops and the military to deploy weapons in war while safely remaining miles away from the front lines of the battlefield.
  2. Fly-by-wire technology – Fly-by-wire technology is a technology that replaces the manual flight controls width an electronic interface that utilizes signals generated by a computer and transmitted by wires to move control mechanisms.
  3. Submarines – submarines can be described as underwater vessels that have the capabilities of attacking enemy ships without their knowledge(Bellamy, 2015).
  4. Tomahawk missiles – Tomahawk missiles are a long-range missile that is designed to fly at extremely low altitudes at subsonic speeds, enabling the weapons to be used to attack various surface targets.

Technology has always been used to produce improved tools of warfare. Some of the notable impacts of advancement in technology in the military include:

  1. Transition to a new kind of war – historians believe that the gulf war marked the transitional point which contained elements of the past war such as a fleet of U.S fleets and new kind of war that includes the use of bunkers. These new elements of war have negative effects such as mass destruction of people and property considering that it encompasses the use of high-tech weapons and surveillance and target acquisition.
  2. The volume of fire – with the increased use of automatic gun in warfare, there is an increase in the likelihood that the intensity of the new warfare will increase leading to many casualties. Automatic gun enables a soldier to fire rounds of bullets nonstop who suggests that the new warfare will claim more lives than ever before as well as lead to the destruction of properties (Manjikian, 2014).
  3. Long range targets – with the continuous use of drowns, the air warfare is likely to intensify and may lead to a reduction in the number of soldiers dying in the battle considering that weapon can be a drop from miles away. However, the purchase and maintenance of such high-tech equipment are likely to increase the financial burden of most countries.

References

Bellamy, C. (. (2015). The Evolution of Modern Land Warfare: Theory and Practice (Vol. 3). .                Routledge.

Manjikian, M. (2014). Becoming Unmanned: The Gendering Of Lethal Autonomous Warfare                  Technology. . International Feminist Journal of Politics, 16(1), , 48-65.

Related

With the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States was faced with the prospect of playing the role of the “world’s policeman.”

 

The Army’s Role in Homeland Security

Question

To what extent does the Army’s role in the homeland security of the United States blur the lines of authority between strictly military and civil authorities in domestic affairs? What are some of the dangers of greater military involvement in such matters? Is there a threat of demoralization among both civilian and enlisted attitudes toward the military as a result of these actions? Explain,

Answer       

The Army’s Role in Homeland Security

The nation’s Army provides assistance to federal, state and local agencies in times of disasters (manmade or natural), during restoration of critical services, and in public safety matters. The scope of the Army has increased in the 21st century due to the emergence of new threats, mainly from terrorism and terror-related threats in the country. Emerging threats include use of nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, radiological weapons, and cyberattacks. In order to curtail the possibility of attacks or respond to an attack, there is need for greater coordination among the various security organs. There is a clear distinction between the roles of the Army in homeland security and that of the military and civil affairs on the same. In some circumstances, the Army helps the military and civil authorities depending on the nature of the situation on the ground.

The Army has been involved in homeland security for a long time. One of the notable roles in homeland security is defending the borders. The Army supports the civil authorities during emergencies, riots, and natural disasters that overwhelm the civil authorities’ capacity to respond (Davis et al., 2004). The Army is largely involved in helping with smaller activities such as battling forest fires, providing assistance in times of floods, during times of earthquakes, and others. There are hardly any conflicts between the Army and civil authorities in responding to these incidences. This is because the Army only responds when ordered by the President to respond to an incident that overwhelms the civil authority. It is worth noting that there are legal and policy restrictions that must be taken into consideration before calling Army members in active duty in matters pertaining to homeland security.

There are certain dangers to greater military involvement in the domestic affairs of the country. The military exists to protect the country and its allies from foreign invasion. Thus, when the military becomes more involved in domestic affairs, this indicates a deviation from the original purpose for which it was created. This can also lead conflicts and tension between the military and the civil authorities, who may feel their role is being taken by the military. There is the notion that the military should not boss around the citizens; for the military was created to deal with external threats (Davis et al., 2004). Civil authorities have a close connection to communities and neighborhoods compared to the military. Civil authorities are able to interact with communities and obtain crucial information about crime. This makes civil authorities the best in responding to domestic issues in the country.

There is a potential threat to demoralization between both the civilian and enlisted attitudes toward the military. Too much military involvement in homeland security can lead to demoralization among civil authorities since they may perceive that the higher authorities does not have trust or confidence in them to provide internal security (Langeland, 2006). This can be demoralizing for them. There is also the risk of a negative attitude towards the military due to involvement in domestic affairs. Most people are accustomed to dealing with civil authorities in solving various domestic challenges rather than relying on the military.

References

Davis, L. E., Mosher, D. E., Brennan, R. R., Greenberg, M. D., McMahon., S., & Yost, C. W. M.             (20034). Army forces for Homeland security. Retrieved from             http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2004/RAND_MG221.pdf

Langeland, T. (2006). Warriors, rescuers, spooks: the U.S. Military’s growing involvement in      domestic affairs. Retrieved from            http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2006/jan/18/warriors-rescuers-spooks-the-us- militarys-growing/

American Military History

With the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States was faced with the prospect of playing the role of the “world’s policeman.”

Question

With the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States was faced with the prospect of playing the role of the “world’s policeman.” What dynamics (i.e., global threats) have increasingly forced the United States to assume this role? What cl role did, and should, allies play in this effort? cr). co

Answer

AMERICAN MILITARY POWER

For decades, the United States of America has been on the forefront to enforce some kind of international standard with the threat of force from enemies and protect the weak from attacks. For the country to be in a position to play such an important role, it has been forced to invest heavily in the military.  As of the world today, the U.S military power and capability is ridiculously significant making it one of the largest, best trained and best-equipped armies in the world. Statistics clearly show that the United States government spends the largest part of its budget on defense and military more than the total budget of the next eight world largest militaries in the globe today (Boot, 2014). This assignment will attempt to identify and explain the reasons behind America’s world police status today.

At the beginning of first and send world war, United States had vowed not to engage itself in issues pertaining Europe and the rest of the world and this isolation policy influenced her rice to power. However, isolation did not work and it took quite a long time and a lot of funding for the country to cross the Atlantic. Moreover, at the start of the 20th century, the country was still focused on American affairs and was interested in protecting the western hemisphere at all cost. However, when her interests were disrupted by the wars, America eventually got involved in the war to protect her people and interest. America involvement in the war gifted the allied side the victory and America emerged as a superpower.

Moreover, the fall of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, which was considered as a threat to the Western Europe meant that the United States was the remaining superpower in the world.  Besides, after the fall of the USSR, most countries felt that they needed independence and the power was handed to NATO. However, NATO was unable to maintain order and safety for all countries, especially in the Middle East, where military leadership was rampant, and their intention to remain in power prompted them to buy military hardware which could only be purchased from the United States.  Given her military power and status, the American military industry was able to supply guns and other military materials to other countries keeping her at the forefront of military sales as well as the control of the military hardware sales in the globe (Epstein, 2014). Through deciding who was to receive or purchase the hardware and those not allowed to own them, she began policing the world.

At the begging of the war, only a few American households owned a television. However, as the war progressed more people became glued to their televisions, and this influenced the turn of the war.  The Vietnam War was branded as a television war owing to the impacts televised media had on how Americans experienced the conflict. As a result, 1968 marked the turning point of the war mainly because of the war fought on the television and the newspapers. One of the major effects of the media broadcast on the war was the development of anti-war movement at home after the My Lai massacre which increased media attention but forgot the United States soldiers in Vietnam (Epstein, 2014). Moreover, the lack of censorship in the news broadcasted by journalists who joined the soldiers in combat really demoralized the soldiers as well as led to a public outcry against the war. In addition, the intense negative coverage of the war influenced politicians, scholars and the general public who withdrew their support. The media negatively influenced the war.

In conclusion, it is correct to say that the United States is the only remaining superpower in the world today given its military size, training, and power. As a result, most of the developing and undeveloped countries, call on herd for help and guidance both economically, politically and military wise.

References

Boot, M. (. (2014). The savage wars of peace: Small wars and the rise of American power. Basic Books.

Epstein, J. M. (2014). Measuring military power: the Soviet air threat to Europe. Princeton University Press.

 

American Military History

US Military Spending Trends

Question

US military spending trends between end of Korean War and present day

Answer

US Military Spending Trends

The US military spending was at its peak during World War II, where it comprised about 41 percent of the entire GDP (Oatley, 2015). At the end of World War II, US military spending experienced a dramatic fall to about 7 percent of the country’s GDP. At the onset of the Korean War, military spending increased slightly to about 15% of the country’s GDP. It is clear that the nature of ongoing war significantly affects the budget set aside for military operations. In wars that are closer home, the US spends significantly more compared to a situation where the US is protecting its allies. This paper examines the US military spending trends since the end of the Korean War to the present day

At the end of the Korean War, US military spending declined significantly in the years to come. For instance in 1953, military spending was at its highest at about 15% of GDP, and falling to about 13% of the GDP in the following year (Oatley, 2015). From 1955 to 1965, the US reduced its share of military spending to an average of 10% of the GDP. The reason for the over 10% of GDP military spending is due to tension between the Western Bloc comprising of US and its’ allies and the Eastern Bloc comprising of the Soviet Union and its’ allies. Tension between these blocs led to the Cold War, which lasted until the early 1990s. Between 1966 and 1968, there was a slight spike in the US military spending from about 7% of GDP to about 10% of GDP. The slight increase in military spending was triggered by Vietnam War buildup (Higgs, 1988). Another factor was growing tension between the US and Germany.

From 1968, US military spending declined significantly over the coming years. The US military spending averaged 5% of GDP between 1972 and 1978 (Oatley, 2015). From 1982, a buildup began, which involved increasing the military arsenal of the US. The increase in military spending coincides with Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. The increase resulted to a spending of about 7% of the GDP. The US government maintained the large spending up to 1988 when it declined. The slight increase in this period is not associated with any major war, and was perhaps President Reagan’s personal decision to prop up the US military in case of war or an attack on American soil (Higgs, 1988). It is also worth noting that the government could have been considering the possibility of responding to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

Between 1988 and 2001, US military spending declined considerably, going as low as 3.5% of GDP in 2001. The low spending in this period is attributed to the relative peace and stability that prevailed (Oatley, 2015). From 2002, US military spending increased significantly, attaining a peak of about 5.7% of GDP in 2010. By the end of 2001, it became apparent that US military spending would increase. This was after the September 11, 2001 attacks and the subsequent declaration of the war against terror (Chantrill, 2016). Following the terrorist attacks, the US invaded Afghanistan in an effort to capture Osama bin Laden and dismantle the Al-Qaeda group operating in the country. The involvement of the US in this war contributed to a spike in US military budget. The US received support from key allies such as the United Kingdom and NATO. The Afghanistan War and the subsequent invasion in Iraq became the longest wars that the US had become involved in, spanning for an entire decade up to 2010.

From 2010 to 2015, the US military spending has been on the decline. From as high as 5.7% of GDP in 2010, the US military spending has significantly declined in the last five years (Chantrill, 2016). For instance, spending fell to about 4.5% in 2011 and 4.2% in 2012 (Chantrill, 2016). The decline in spending is occasion by the US government withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq. In the recent past, the government, having capture Osama bin Laden, has embarked in an effort to withdraw all troops from the two countries and prop up new governments. In Afghanistan, the United Nations has stepped up efforts to end the conflict between the government and Taliban. In 2014, the US announced its plans to stop all combat operations in the country and to withdraw its presence from the country. In Iraq, the US withdrew its military in 2011, although there were still private contractors backed by the US government. In 2014, the US became re-involved in military operations in Iraq following an eruption of violence. However, this did not have a significant impact on the budget.

The US military spending is projected to decrease in the coming period. This due to relative peace and stability lack of imminent threats to US interests. It is worth noting that most of the spikes in spending are triggered by foreign events that threaten the sovereignty of the country or of allied nations. Relative peace and stability will thus result to lower military spending.

 

References

Chantrill, C. (2016). A century of defense spending. Retrieved from             http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/defense_spending

Higgs, R. (1988). Policy analysis. Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 114. Retrieved from             https://object.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa114.pdf

Oatley, T. (2015). A political economy of American hegemony. Cambridge: Cambridge   University Press.

 

The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War

Question

Keeping in mind that NSC-68 set the parameters of policy discussions and military planning, explain how and why the United States got into the Vietnam War and why it could not seem to get out. Include a discussion of the weight of the Soviet Cold War threat on this engagement.

Answer

The Vietnam War

Question 1

Following the Geneva Conference in 1954, Vietnam was partitioned into two – South Vietnam, and the North Vietnam. North Vietnam followed communist doctrines while North Vietnam had a non-communist leadership. In 1955, North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam, taking advantage of the weak South Vietnam leadership (Kaiser, 2000). The South Vietnamese Army was vulnerable, and was described as nothing more than a group of ill-equipped rebels. This contributed to the U.S. getting involved in the war, since the south lacked adequate resources to liberate itself. The United States got involved in the Vietnam War in order to contain the spread of communism. The NSC-68 report documented the way forward with regard to the country’s military affairs. However, the rise of communism was seen as imminent threat since it had spread in many parts of Asia. In 1949, China adopted communism, sparking fears that the rest of South-East Asia would follow suit (Kaiser, 2000). The United States felt the need to curtail the growing spread of communism.

The other factor contributing to the United States involvement in the war is the domino theory. This theory stipulates that if a country falls into communism, then the neighboring countries would inevitably fall into communism (Kaiser, 2000). The United States held the notion that if South Vietnam fell into communism, neighboring states such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and others would fall into communism (Kaiser, 2000). The war did not seem to end since North Vietnam engaged in guerilla warfare. In essence, although the North Vietnamese would lose, the guerilla tactics meant that war was still on. In addition, the U.S. could not afford to lose face as the superpower by withdrawing from the war, which was not ending due to the guerilla tactics (Kaiser, 2000). The weight of the Soviet Cold War threat fell on the U.S. Cold War involved the United States and its allies against the Soviet Union and its allies. Soviet Union, just like North Vietnam, was a communist state. The United States had to be careful not to escalate the war into World War III, where Soviet Union, China and other communist states would back North Vietnam.

Question 2

The North Vietnamese colonel meant that even though the country lost the actual war in the battlefront, it stilled achieved the goals of the war. North Vietnam was overpowered in the battlefront but it eventually won by conquering South Vietnam. The major goal of North Vietnam in pursuing the war was to unite the South under a communist regime. After a long-protracted war, the United States lost the will to fight, eventually withdrawing its forces from South Vietnam. This gave North Vietnam the power to conquer South Vietnam and turn it into a communist state (Tazabecki, n.d). Thus as the colonel says, it is irrelevant whether the U.S. defeated North Vietnam or not. What is relevant is that North Vietnam achieved its war objectives. From the perspective of the North Vietnamese people, this is a war they worn; especially with the toppling of the South and introduction of communist rule.

The colonel’s reply highlights the myths surrounding the Vietnamese War, where some people argue that the United States “lost” in the war. However, losing in the battle could have different implications. For instance, does losing constitute body count or the amount of territory that one faction is able to annex and control? During the spring Offensive that ultimately say the conquering of the South in 1975, the American forces had already withdrawn from the battleground (Tazabecki, n.d). Thus according to the colonel, the conquering of the South represented a defeat of the American foreign policy. The political goals of the U.S. had also been thwarted, which was a win for North Vietnam. The U.S. hoped that it would establish a free and independent South Vietnam, but these plans fell in disarray as the battle had dragged for a long period. Pressure from U.S. citizens and civil groups had forced the government to withdraw its forces from Vietnam.

References

Kaiser, D. E. (2000). American tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the origins of the Vietnam War. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Tazabecki, D. (n.d). Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., was a soldier, scholar, military analyst,         writer, editor and friend. Retrieved from     http://www.clausewitz.com/readings/SummersObitText.htm

What factors contributed to the success of American arms in the war against Germany and Italy during World War II?

What factors contributed to the success of American arms in the war against Germany and Italy during World War II?

Question

What factors contributed to the success of American arms in the war against Germany and Italy during World War II? Which ally contributed most to the eventual victory? Which branch of the armed services? Explain by means of specific examples.

Discuss the comparative roles of Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States in the fight against Germany. Also, evaluate the roles of the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force in the defense of the United States.

Answer

Question 1

A number of factors contributed to the success of American arms in the war against Germany and Italy. Four major factors helped American arms in the war against Germany and Italy. These were assistance from allies (in terms of manpower and resources), a powerful American force, Weaknesses in Italian Army, and Germany’s miscalculations. During the war, the U.S. contributed the largest number of soldiers and military resources such as planes, tankers, and even oil supplies. For example, in the Cross-Channel Attack, about 1.6 million soldiers were transported across the Atlantic. In addition, over 5000 ships were used during the invasion on Germany-held regions. The American arms utilized advanced military technology in Sicily, a region in Italy, which largely contributed to their success. For example, they used new landing craft, some of which bore tanks, and could easily move ashore. The military also utilized new amphibious trucks known as DUKW, which helped in delivering supplies along the beaches.

Another factor contributing to the success of American arms is Germany’s weaknesses and miscalculations. The German army had an ineffective command structure, which only allowed Adolf Hitler to make decisions, and often against the advice of his generals. For example, during Germany’s invasion in North Africa, Hitler made the decision to attack the Soviet Union, simultaneously. This divided his forces and materials, leading to a weak German force in North Africa. The use of propaganda by the U.S. forces also contributed to their win. During the Cross-Channel Attack, American forces spread false rumors that the invasion was only a minor one, and that a major invasion was on its way. This somehow led to slackness among the German soldiers. British ally contributed most to the American victory. The branch that contributed most is the Air force. This branch helped secure the Atlantic against German submarines, allowing soldiers to cross. In addition, the air force helped carry soldiers to the battlefield, where they would use parachutes to launch surprise attacks on unsuspecting German soldiers.

Question 2

Britain played a direct role in the offensive against Germany. The first action that Britain took is the Blockade of Germany. The Blockade of Germany was a form of economic sabotage whereby Britain attempted a naval blockade in the Atlantic. It is worth noting that Germany relied on the Atlantic for shipping of supplies such as munition, minerals, food, and other items needed during the war. Britain also made effort to buy military supplies from neutral countries. This helped in preventing the neutral countries from selling arms to Germany. Another role of Britain is contribution of military supplies and soldiers to aid America in the war against Germany. The British forces greatly helped the U.S. forces in countering German invasion in various Mediterranean locations and across North Africa.

The U.S. army had the capacity to launch a direct offensive against Germany, something that Britain and French lacked. The American forces had mobility, great artillery firepower, and air support, which is what was needed to launch an offensive against Germany. The U.S. contributed much of the troops in the assault force. This was necessary because there was need to paint a picture that America was the one behind the invasion, and not French or Britain. Another role of the U.S. was in planning of attacks and coordinating the war in general. The U.S. played critical role in coordinating attacks against Germans. The U.S. brought together various allies such as France, Britain, and Canada in the fight against Germany. This significantly contributed to the defeat of the German and Italy due to the large force that was pitted against German’s forces. Although the Soviet Union did not directly help the U.S. in the war against Germany, it was crucial in helping the U.S. secure a win. In 1941, the Soviet army had successfully thwarted Germany’s efforts to occupy Moscow. The Soviet army put up a brave resistance that complicated Hitler’s plans, which were to conquer the Soviet Union within a short period and concentrate on other areas such as North Africa. The Soviet Union worked against a single ground front in the east, the Germans, while in the west, the U.S. and its allies were against two ground fronts, Germany and Italy.

The Army conducts land-based military operations with an aim of securing the country’s geographical borders and all American citizens. The Army provides support to communities afflicted by disaster or in times of crisis. The Army also helps in defending U.S. allies against invasion or incursions by enemies. The Army is also involved in training soldiers to engage in military operations. The Navy is involved in providing safe passage in the sea and protecting the U.S. from any form of sea incursions. The army is also responsible for transporting military personnel as well as equipment to areas required. The Navy can also conduct air assault missions, land missions, and sea missions. The Marines are responsible for protecting embassies and launching swift attacks in case of attacks. Marines work closely with the Navy and are always ready to respond to emerging situations.  The role of the Air Force is to protect the U.S. from air attacks. For instance, it protects the U.S. and allied nations against nuclear attacks and maintains space superiority.

American Military History