Bruce Fein / The Washington Times & The Congressional Research Service – 2016-12-03 22:52:09
US Foreign Policy: Global Dominance
Since World War II, the US has chronically fomented instability
Bruce Fein / The Washington Times
(November 21, 2016) — Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson tactlessly sermonized that, “The United States was the locomotive of mankind and the rest of the world was the caboose.” The supreme arrogance of the secretary’s bifurcation made no friends but endless enemies. Thus, euphemisms to disguise the ulterior motive of our foreign policy were invented. Power for the sake of power was too crude and off-putting.
Acheson and his cohorts at the outset of the Cold War were delusional in the belief that the United States enjoyed a monopoly on the world’s angelic and enlightened DNA. They were equally deluded in the belief that we were saddled with an obligation to be the leader of the world to direct the affairs of other nations as a conductor directs an orchestra.
But that was nothing new under the sun. Since the beginning of time, nations have crowned themselves a chosen people to justify gratifying hormonal cravings for power and domination. Species narcissism blinds us to that ugly truth about our primal urges.
To self-identify as a master race eager to conquer the world, however, has been bad form since the fall of the Third Reich. In previous times, empires unabashedly trumpeted a foreign policy of the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must. Today, nations concoct euphonious explanations for world domination.
The United States, for instance, commonly professes “stability” as its foreign policy objective. But that profession is fact-free. It ranks in risibility with Secretary of State John Kerry’s condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea on the heels of the United States invasion of Iraq justified by Saddam Hussein mythical weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Kerry reprimanded Russia without embarrassment:
“You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text.”
The United States has chronically fomented instability since World War II. We infiltrated rebels into Eastern and Central Europe and the Balkans to overthrow or weaken Communist governments. The C.I.A. provided paramilitary support to the Dalai Lama and Tibet against Communist China for decades until President Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit.
The CIA overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 in favor of the corrupt and megalomaniacal Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi. The overthrow ultimately precipitated the 1979 Iranian Revolution and Ayatollah Khomeini’s accession to power. Iran is now an arch-enemy, a state sponsor of terrorism, and an intermeddler in the affairs of Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.
The CIA overthrew Guatemala’s Jacobo Arbenz in 1954. It ushered in decades of genocidal military rule and domestic convulsions. Gang violence today in Guatemalaâ€”which has begotten a surge of refugees to the United Statesâ€”can be traced to our earlier intervention and its aftermath.
The CIA attempted to overthrow Indonesia’s Sukarno in 1958, but failed. A second attempt succeeded in 1965, which triggered an unspeakable bloodbath chronicled in the film The Act of Killing.
The CIA’s attempted overthrow of Cuba’s Fidel Castro in 1961 was followed by multiple assassination attempts in Operation Mongoose. The seeds were sown for the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
We dropped 300 million tons of cluster bombs during a secret war in Laos, which turned the nation into wilderness.
In more recent years, the United States supported rebels fighting the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. We supported Kosovo’s violent secession from Serbia. We supported South Sudan’s violent secession from Sudan. The former’s tribal atrocities today are edging towards genocide.
We have created havoc throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia with our wars in Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and against al Qaeda and ISIS globally.
We assisted in the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which precipitated Russia’s annexation of Crimea and a de facto partitioned Ukraine.
To be sure, the United States supports stability when it advances our craving to control the world. Our foreign policy is replete with support for dictatorial or tyrannical governments like Nicaragua’s Somoza, Chile’s Pinochet, Argentina’s generals, Saudi Arabia’s kings, or Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh. The unifying theme, whether stability or instability is sought, is power for the sake of power fueled by chosen people arrogance.
Among the foreign policy glitterati, former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Hillary Clinton may be summoned as further proof. Mr. Kissinger championed the violent overthrow of Chile’s elected President Salvador Allende in favor of the murderous dictator Augusto Pinochet. He explained like a schoolmarm rebuking pupils: “I don’t see why we should have to stand by and let a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people.”
Mrs. Clinton was equally scornful of conducting 2005 Palestinian elections in Gaza that brought Hamas to power: “[I]f we were going to push for an election we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”
Do not hold your breath for any foreign policy change from President-elect Donald Trump. Power for the sake of power will remain in the saddle.
Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2016
Barbara Salazar Torreon, Senior Research Librarian / Congressional Research Service (October 7, 2016)
This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its Armed Forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past US military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted.
The listing often contains references, especially from 1980 forward, to continuing military deployments, especially US military participation in multinational operations associated with NATO or the United Nations. Most of these post-1980 instances are summaries based on presidential reports to Congress related to the War Powers Resolution. A comprehensive commentary regarding any of the instances listed is not undertaken here.
The instances differ greatly in number of forces, purpose, extent of hostilities, and legal authorization. Eleven times in its history, the United States has formally declared war against foreign nations. These 11 US war declarations encompassed five separate wars:
* The war with Great Britain declared in 1812;
* The war with Mexico declared in 1846;
* The war with Spain declared in 1898;
* The First World War, during which the United States declared war with Germany and with Austria-Hungary during 1917; and
* World War II, during which the United States declared war against Japan, Germany, and Italy in 1941, and against Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania in 1942.
Some of the instances were extended military engagements that might be considered undeclared wars. These include:
* The Undeclared Naval War with France from 1798 to 1800;
* The First Barbary War from 1801 to 1805;
* The Second Barbary War of 1815;
* The Korean War of 1950-1953;
* The Vietnam War from 1964 to 1973;
* The Persian Gulf War of 1991;
* Global actions against foreign terrorists after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States; and
* The war with Iraq in 2003.
With the exception of the Korean War, all of these conflicts received congressional authorization in some form short of a formal declaration of war. Other, more recent instances have often involved deployment of US military forces as part of a multinational operation associated with NATO or the United Nations.
The majority of the instances listed prior to World War II were brief Marine Corps or Navy actions to protect US citizens or promote US interests. A number were engagements against pirates or bandits. Covert operations, disaster relief, and routine alliance stationing and training exercises are not included here, nor are the Civil and Revolutionary Wars and the continual use of US military units in the exploration, settlement, and pacification of the western part of the United States.
The following list reviews hundreds of instances in which the United States has used military forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict to protect US citizens or promote US interests.
The list does not include covert actions or numerous occurrences in which US forces have been stationed abroad since World War II in occupation forces or for participation in mutual security organizations, base agreements, or routine military assistance or training operations. Because of differing judgments over the actions to be included, other lists may include more or fewer instances.
These cases vary greatly in size of operation, legal authorization, and significance. The number of troops involved ranges from a few sailors or marines landed to protect American lives and property to hundreds of thousands in Korea and Vietnam and millions in World War II. Some actions were of short duration, and some lasted a number of years.
In some examples, a military officer acted without authorization; some actions were conducted solely under the President’s powers as Chief Executive or Commander in Chief; other instances were authorized by Congress in some fashion. In 11 separate cases . . . the United States formally declared war against foreign nations.
For most of the instances listed, however, the status of the action under domestic or international law has not been addressed. Most occurrences listed since 1980 are summaries of US military deployments reported to Congress by the President as a result of the War Powers Resolution. Several of these presidential reports are summaries of activities related to an ongoing operation previously reported.
Note that inclusion in this list does not connote either legality or level of significance of the instance described. This report covers uses of US military force abroad from 1798 to September 2016. It will be revised as circumstances warrant.
(Note: The list is too long to post on our website. To read it in its entirety, Click Here.)
For additional information, see CRS Report RL31133, Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications, by Jennifer K. Elsea and Matthew C. Weed and CRS Report R41989, Congressional Authority to Limit Military Operations, by Jennifer K. Elsea, Michael John Garcia, and Thomas J. Nicola.