POLICEMEN OF THE WORLD 1
Policemenof the World
The United States has operated as the undisputed world power forseveral decades. In this regard, other countries have been forced topursue goals that align with American interests. Military involvementof the U.S. in other parts of the world, particularly in the MiddleEast, is one of the most controversial foreign policies. While somepeople have been opposed to it, others have argued for increasedpresence of American forces in politically unstable regions orcountries (Bacevich, 2016). Recently, the U.S.-led interventions inIraq and Syria have attracted divergent political, social, andeconomic opinions and views in the society.
The military engagements by the United States in Syria and Iraq areassociated with the abandonment of the isolationist foreign policieswhich began in the early 20th century. Notably, theFourteen Points by President Woodrow Wilson marked the beginning ofthe country’s desire to protect its interests beyond its sovereignborders. This resulted in increased involvement in global affairs(Hastedt, 2015). In particular, the Iraq War of 2003-2011 wasprecipitated by the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington,D.C (Bacevich, 2016). President George Bush accused the Muslim nationof possessing and manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. Iraq wasalso suspected of sponsoring terrorist organizations such asal-Qaeda, the masterminds of the World Trade Center attacks(Bacevich, 2016). Consequently, the U.S. bombed the Arab country anddeployed thousands of troops. The capture and ultimate execution ofthe tyrant, Saddam Hussein, was followed by the progressivewithdrawal of American soldiers (Bacevich, 2016). On the other hand,the military intervention in Syria was motivated by an endeavor todestroy terrorists, who posed a serious threat to the U.S (Bacevich,2016). The invasion was also initiated to overthrow the ruling regimedue to its numerous violations of human rights (Bacevich, 2016).Initially, the government provided the rebels with supplies such aspickup trucks and food rations. However, later assistance was offeredthrough intelligence, financial resources, and training (Bacevich,2016). Therefore, such military engagements reflect the Americanpolicy to intervene in global affairs to foster its agenda.
Since 1865, three important historical factors have contributed tothe rise of the United States as a superpower. These factors includerapid industrialization, social developments, and the country’srole in the First and Second World Wars (Kennedy & Cohen, 2016).Notably, several industries such as electrical power, steelmanufacturing, and petroleum refining emerged some years after theCivil War. The infrastructure also expanded such that remote areascould contribute to the national economy. Moreover, abundant socialdevelopments were seen through the growth of the middle class and anincrease in wealthy individuals (Kennedy & Cohen, 2016).Favorable immigration laws also led to the establishment of a diverseworkforce (Kennedy & Cohen, 2016). Besides, Americanparticipation in the First and Second World Wars exalted the countryas a military powerhouse. In this respect, several European nationssuch as Germany and France were deposed by the Anglo-Americanalliance. The U.S. also developed advanced weapons and nucleartechnology that were superior to those of other countries (Kennedy &Cohen, 2016). Consequently, rapid industrialization, socialrevolution, and participation in World War I and II have accorded theUnited States its status as a superpower.
The decades following the Second World War have been characterized byseveral international incidents where the United States has assumed aglobal policing role. These include the interventions in the KoreanWar, the Gulf War, Somalia Civil War, Suez Crisis, and the invasionof Grenada (Thompson, 2015). The 1956 invasion of Israel into Egyptmotivated the U.S. to join forces with the United Kingdom to end thetyrannical reign of Gamal Abdel Nasser. Such attacks were also keento regain control of the Suez Canal as a critical trade route(Thompson, 2015). In 1983, President Ronald Reagan ordered theinvasion of Grenada to eliminate the threat posed to Americans by theisland’s Marxist regime (Thompson, 2015). Furthermore, the U.S. gotinvolved in the Korean War to prevent the Soviet Union from expandingits communist influence. In fact, the United States sought toestablish democracy while the Asians desired to have a unified state(Thompson, 2015). In 1990, Iraqi forces invaded neighboring Kuwaitand hence instigated the Gulf War. The U.S. engineered air strikes tovanquish Saddam’s soldiers and force them to retreat (Thompson,2015). American forces also participated in a multinational effort toprovide humanitarian aid during the Somalia Civil War in 1993(Thompson, 2015). Such incidents highlight the tendency of the U.S.to adopt a global policing role.
Several factors have influenced foreign policies that have resultedin the interventionist approach by the United States. For example,peacekeeping missions under the United Nations led to the engagementin the Somalia Civil War (Thompson, 2015). Besides, the interventionsduring the Suez Crisis were motivated by a desire to protect Americaninterest abroad. The involvement in the Korean War was primarily dueto the fear of communism takeover (Thompson, 2015). Additionally, theaerial attacks during the Gulf War aimed to secure access toessential natural resources such as crude oil. Moreover, the invasionof Grenada was intended to promote democracy and the rule of law(Thompson, 2015). Such aspects have contributed to the interferenceof the United States government in international affairs.
Indeed, American military involvement in other countries such as Iraqand Syria has led to polarized opinions. U.S. foreign policy hasestablished guidelines for increased interventions in global affairs.Consequently, the American government has used its distinguishedmilitary to enforce international laws and treaties in defiantregimes. The resultant effects have heightened the nation’sundisputed role as a superpower and a global police.
Bacevich, A. (2016). America`s war for the greater Middle East: amilitary history. New York, NY: Random House.
Hastedt, G. (2015). American foreign policy: Past, present, andfuture. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Kennedy, D. & Cohen, L. (2016). The American Pageant: AHistory of the Republic. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin.
Thompson, J. (2015). A Sense of Power: The Roots of America`sWorld Role. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.