Good god. Some of you people have no sense of history or national purpose.
The Barbary Pirates Wars sums up everything. These series of wars took place in the Mediterranean Sea in the early 19th century. Europeans, wealthy from their excursions across the world via colonialism, were content with paying ransoms and tolls for passage through this sea. The U.S., at its birth and infancy, could not afford to pay such things to secure its export/import businesses. Therefore, we went to war. And even though having to take a break in these wars to satisfy the British's desires to attack the U.S. in 1812, American Marines and Sailors wound up defeating the Barbary Pirates and solved the problem for everybody (even Europeans).
In 1823, the Monroe Doctrine had said that further efforts by European governments to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed by the United States of America as acts of aggression requiring US intervention. At the very end of the 19th century, the Spanish-American War brought America into the colonial game in a few locales (Cuba, Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico).
At the turn of the century, American Marines had to aid European nations in China. Aside from France, Germany, Japan, and Russia carving out spheres of influence in China, America had some "stock" in the existing Chinese government. Our role in the Boxer Rebellion was about securing more of our import/export stabilities.
Of course, Europe starts World War I, which disrupts our import/export trade stabilities. With their inabilities to figure it out, Americans eventually venture out into their world to secure it. In 1941, Japan tests us and force us to defend security. But once again Europeans couldn't figure out their own messes onn their continent, so Americans have to eventually cross the ocean to restore import/export trade securities.
And after WWII? When all of Europe's powers withdraw from their former colonies to licke their self inflicted wounds? The Soviet Union filled much of the voids and by the 1950s held influence over most of the world. America stood alone as the only force that could deal with a globe on the verge. The import/export world for the free world was endangered and since America didn't have a "big brother," we began to play the Cold War game. We often enough shelved our morals and values to beat the Soviets to the dictators and the populations, especially in the Middle East where oil had consumed the world as the ulitmate resource to build military and civilization.
After the Cold War, dumb asses began to assume that "our wars were over" as if the history of why we went to war was not an issue any longer. Throughout the 90s, politicians on both sides drew our military down and assumed that the outside world was now some how cooperative and healthy. 9/11 smacked the morons in the face and reminded them that even our two oceans will not protect us from the instabilties and corruptions of entire regions abroad. They claim to hate us for our activities abroad, but they wrap it all up in religious dogma and cultural propoganda. Europeans have been murdered over some cartoonist's idea of free speech. Amongst this wave of fanaticism, are our import/export trade stabilities. Even Somali pirates threaten international water ways (full circle, huh?)
It has been a burden. But it is a burden because Americans want a certain life style. The American military can pull back across the ocean. Slowly, but surely, will be the chinking of our lifestyles and securities as our trade partners abroad come under attack by military neighbors or suffer the famine and disease of a neighbor. Or from having to suffer the flood of refugees that would come from a neighbors internal civil wars. People are ignorant of military affairs, but when it came to Sudan and Rwanda, U.S. Marines were there. While the world refused to intervene, U.S. Marines were busy training neighbors to defend their borders. Chad and Ethiopia were important to containing Sudan's Sharia wreckage from leaking into Djibouti and other locales.
People have this illusion that they can criticize our involvements in little nothing countries or our interventions into other people's affairs, but the truth is that if they could and would handle their own affairs so that they didn't interfere with our global mission, we wouldn't be there.
Protecting America's interests and the freedoms of Americans have far more to do than some simpleton's idea that he must be attacked for his freedoms to be jeapordized. Should NATO step up or individual European nations bear the burden for their own sakes for a change? Hell yeah. 65 years of licking their wounds is enough time to catch your breath. But until we have a "Big Brother" like Europe has, we are stuck fending for ourselves and guiding the world's affairs to our favor.
Last edited by MSgt; 04-17-10 at 02:51 PM.
But you must read between the lines..ie
MSgt...People have this illusion that they can criticize our involvements in little nothing countries or our interventions into other people's affairs, but the truth is that if they could and would handle their own affairs so that they didn't interfere with our global mission, we wouldn't be there.
Please explain MSgt
Oil is some kind of important to America's prosperity and power. Our current enemies in the reigon are religious fanatics who absolutely despise their governments and are willing to slaughter even their fellow Muslims to ensure that they are on the side of "right" against them. Now our oil deals hinge on the stability of the governments who sign the contracts. This means that their enemies become our enemies. Every fanatic that has a grief with the House of Saud and the Egyptian "Pharoah" becomes a threat to us.
With Saddam Hussein attacking two neighboring nations and flying military jets over Jordan and Saudi Arabia as late as 2002....how could we just leave that situation to sort itself out?
Pakistan is another situation. They have nuclear material and host a very large fanatic base. Neighboring Afghanistan's instability has leaked into Pakistan. Should they sort it out or can we afford to roll the dice and place our securities in their hands?
Djibouti is of extreme importance due to its strategic location on the map. Sudan's internal genocide threatened stability throughout the region. It leaked into Chad and Ethiopia. Ethiopia our proxy "brick wall" between Djibouti and Bashir's mess. In the West, we already had friendly relations with Chad and therefore deployed U.S. Marines to them to assist in their training to act as the brick wall. With the UN struggling to deny the genocide in Sudan, America was stuck seeking ways to contain the spillage.
Taiwan's health is rather important due to import/export trades. China is aware of this, which is why the threat of attack is never more than a threat.
Genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo could not go unchecked in the European theatre. This is the location where the First World War began. Our trades with Europe are far too important to allow genocide to possibly spread beyond borders until it involves more than it had to.
Let's go back a bit. We worked to crack open the Soviet Union for forty years. But when it cracked apart we rushed to hold it together. They were unable to deal with their fracturing on their own, which could have placed their nuclear program in the hands of anybody.
The point of these small examples is that while people embrace the idea of globalization, they must embrace what comes with it. It is far more complex than it used to be. We only had to contend with Barbary Pirates in 1815 to free the Mediterranean for free trade. Today, we have to worry about country X's civil War because it may affect neighboring country Z's export to us. Country A's genocide may cause such a refugee crisis into neighboring nations that it becomes too much of a burden for them to deal with and honor export/import deals with others. This will move us to assist those nations in dealing with "what is not our business."
John Smith of Springfield, U.S.A. wants his newest Play Station from Japan. Doesn't this mean that Japan's stability becomes important to our lifestyle? Did China's Bird Flu scare the crap out of people all over the globe? What if this Bird Flu was coming out of a third world country that could not react to it properly? Who's problem does it become now? What about Swine Flu? That became America's problem right quick didn't it?
But what about what is near and dear to Americans these days? What happens when country X, Y, and Z in one region celebrates ignorance and provides educational funds primarily to religious schools? Or provides no opportunity for the disenfranchised youth who can't even afford to get married? Who do they blame when their role models and school teachers point across the ocean? At what point do their social prescriptions become our problem?
The affairs of nations very much affect us anymore because we exist on a plain that thrives on the interleaving of international deals and handshakes with nations that cannot provide their own securities. Their region's instabilities and thugs become ours.
Your last two posts are probably the best potted explanation of the role of the US military that I have ever read.
@Msgt: Are you in the Spec Ops community?
@Chevy: I think Msgt would say that we are there to make sure no one threatens our economic prosperity. So its not that its socialism, its just that without our presence there Europe will be Europe and that is a lot of military conflict against one another. If it weren't for our military presence there, the EU would probably not exist.