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American Military History


1.    Factors impacting US preparedness prior to 1941 Before USA joined world war II in December 1941, most Americans including the former President Roosevelt were not eager to join the global military conflict. However, the mo...Read More


~Posted on Feb 2019

American Military History

1.    Factors impacting US prepare...

1.    Factors impacting US preparedness prior to 1941

Before USA joined world war II in December 1941, most Americans including the former President Roosevelt were not eager to join the global military conflict. However, the move was inevitable and Roosevelt began preparations in 1940 amid the great depression. He pushed for the Congress to approve the very first peacetime military draft in America, that would require around 17 million men of ages 21 to 35 registered. He pledged to help any North, central, or South American nation under attack and ordered the Navy to attack German submarines on the East Coast upon seeing them. Furthermore, he traded old U.S Navy destroyers to England in return for leases on English military bases in the Caribbean. He also pushed for Congress to approve the Lend-Lease Act allowing him to trade, give, lease, or sell military hardware to countries that would protect the USA.

2.    Executive Order 9981

The executive order 9981 was directed by President Truman on 26th July 1948 to eradicate racial discrimination in US Armed Forces. The order would result in the termination of segregation, which had become rampant in the services. The critical thing was that the president through the order declared that all people in the armed services should be treated with equality and given same opportunities regardless of their religion, race, national origin or color. Truman also ordered for the establishment of a special advisory committee in the national military to oversee the equality of treatment in the military. The committee would consist of seven members chosen by the president and would continue to exist until the president terminates it by executive order.   

3.    New Look and Flexible Response

The New Look refers to the US national security policy in the Eisenhower’s administration. The New Look indicated concern by Eisenhower to balance America’s Cold War military commitments with its financial resources. On the other hand, Flexible Response was John F. Kennedy’s defense strategy to address the skepticism of the New Look and its policies by his administration.

4.    Intentions of US involvement in Vietnam

The Vietnam war (known today as the American war) was the longest war in United States history up until the Afghanistan war surpassed it. The United States became involved in the war to help stop communist domination in Vietnam and other areas of the world. The French had appealed to the United States for assistance in terminating communist influence during the early 1950’s when the cold war was at its peak. The American government having perceived Vietnam as another Korea intervened in the only war they would lose since it failed to achieve military victory and North Vietnam took over South Vietnam. The Vietnam war was divisive in Europe, America, and Australia among other areas. The topic remains controversial and still affects military and political decisions to date since the loss was attributed to politics.

5.    Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon Doctrines

A US presidential doctrine refers to the attitudes and key goals for US foreign affairs as defined by the president. The Truman Doctrine outlined that America was willing and able to send resources such as equipment, military forces and funds to countries threatened by and resisting communism. The Eisenhower Doctrine targeted to terminate international communism. In it, he suggested that a country could get aid from the United States military or money upon request if they were at threat from armed aggression from another country or state. The move was also perceived to contain the Soviet Union that attempted to enter Egypt using the Suez war. The Nixon Doctrine focused to pursue peace through America partnering with its allies. His Doctrine outlined that the US would expect its allies to be primarily responsible for their military defense.

6.      Strategies, successes, and failures in the War on Terrorism

The war on terrorism refers to an international military campaign that was spearheaded by the United States immediately after the 9/11 attacks in the USA. The initial strategy of the war on terror was to destroy the entire al-Qaeda network and confront radical ideologies that inspired individuals to join or support the terrorist group. Later on, it would involve a battle of ideas as well to promote human dignity and freedom that counters the totalitarian rule and oppression of terrorists. Therefore, the war does involve not only military power but also intelligence, diplomatic, law enforcement, and diplomatic activities to protect the homeland. Successes of the war on terror include; prevention of large-scale terror attacks on the American soil, arrest of innumerable terrorist suspects around the world, toppling of the Taliban era, killing of Osama bin Laden and capture of other leaders of al-Qaeda, closure of many Afghanistan terrorist training camps, and elevated levels of cooperation on the global war on terror. Failures of the war include; increased anti-Americanism among Muslims following attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan thus sparking the rise in groups allied for a common cause, scattering the al-Qaeda network making it harder to destroy them, and failure to capture or kill current al-Qaeda head; Ayman al-Zawahiri or completely end global terrorism.

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