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A History of U.S. Military Interventions, 1890-2010 1890-2010 Dr. Zoltán Grossman, Member of the Faculty, Geography/ Native American Studies, The Evergreen.

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Presentation on theme: "A History of U.S. Military Interventions, 1890-2010 1890-2010 Dr. Zoltán Grossman, Member of the Faculty, Geography/ Native American Studies, The Evergreen."— Presentation transcript:

1 A History of U.S. Military Interventions, Dr. Zoltán Grossman, Member of the Faculty, Geography/ Native American Studies, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA “There will assuredly become a day, when this country will have some weight in the scale of Empires…” – George Washington Wounded Knee 1890 Philippines 1903 Iraq 2004 Vietnam 1966

2 TTroopsMMissiles NNaval COCommand Operation BBombingNU Nuclear Use JJetsNTNuclear Threat NJNaval Jets Among sources used, beside news reports: Congressional Record (23 June 1969), 180 Landings by the U.S. Marine Corp History Division, Ege & Makhijani in Counterspy (July-Aug, 1982), "Instances of Use of United States Forces Abroad, " by Ellen C. Collier of the Library of Congress Congressional Research Service, Daniel Ellsberg in Protest & Survive. Key & Sources Key & Sources

3 Mobilizations of the National Guard Offshore shows of naval strength Reinforcements of embassy personnel The use of non-Defense Dept. personnel (such as the DEA) Non-combat mobilizations (such as replacing postal strikers) The permanent stationing of armed forces Covert actions where the U.S. did not play a command and control role The use of small hostage rescue units Military training and advisory programs not involving direct combat …and many other military activities. This guide does not include: Most uses of proxy troops Military exercises Foreign disaster assistance Civic action programs *U.S. piloting of foreign warplanes

4 Land base conquered Wounded Knee massacre Chicago Pullman rail strike Nicaragua

5 SO. DAKOTA 1890(-?) TWounded Knee massacre of 300 Lakotas ARGENTINA1890TBuenos Aires interests protected. CHILE1891TMarines clash with nationalist rebels. HAITI1891TBlack revolt on Navassa defeated. IDAHO1892TArmy suppresses silver miners' strike. HAWAII1893(-?)T, NIndependent kingdom overthrown, annexed CHICAGO1894TBreaking of rail strike, 34 killed. NICARAGUA1894TMonth-long occupation of Bluefields. CHINA TMarines land in Sino-Japanese War KOREA TMarines kept in Seoul during war. PANAMA1895T, NMarines land in Colombian province. NICARAGUA1896TMarines land in port of Corinto

6 Spanish-American War Era Philippine Insurrection against Spain, then U.S. Cuba seized from Spain Panamaindependence, canal zone annexation Boxer Rebellion in China

7 Mark Twain on the Philippine-American War “The completeness of the victory is established by this fact: that of the six hundred Moros not one was left alive. The brilliancy of the victory is established by this other fact, to wit: that of our six hundred heroes only fifteen lost their lives. General Wood was present and looking on. His order had been, ‘Kill or capture those savages.’ Apparently our little army considered that the ‘or’ left them authorized to kill or capture according to taste, and that their taste had remained what it has been for eight years, in our army out there-the taste of Christian butchers....The enemy numbered six hundred-including women and children-and we abolished them utterly, leaving not even a baby alive to cry for its dead mother. This is incomparably the greatest victory that was ever achieved by the Christian soldiers of the United States.”

8 CHINA TBoxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies. PHILIPPINES (-?)T, NSeized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos. CUBA (-?)T, NSeized from Spain, still hold Navy base. PUERTO RICO1898 (-?)T, N Seized from Spain, occupation continues. GUAM1898 (-?)T, N Seized from Spain, still use as base. MINNESOTA1898 (-?)TArmy battles Chippewa at Leech Lake. NICARAGUA1898T Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur. SAMOA1899 (-?)T Battle over succession to throne. NICARAGUA1899T Marines land at port of Bluefields. IDAHO T Army occupies Coeur d'Alene mining region OKLAHOMA1901TArmy battles Creek Indian revolt. PANAMA T, NBroke off from Colombia 1903, annexed Canal Zone HONDURAS1903TMarines intervene in revolution.

9 “Dollar Diplomacy” Nicaragua landings China interventions begin “Gunboat “GunboatDiplomacy” in Cuba in Cuba

10 DOMINICAN REP TU.S. interests protected in Revolution. KOREA TMarines land in Russo-Japanese War. CUBA TMarines land in democratic election. NICARAGUA1907T"Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up. HONDURAS1907TMarines land during war with Nicaragua PANAMA1908TMarines intervene in election contest. NICARAGUA1910TMarines land in Bluefields and Corinto. HONDURAS1911TU.S. interests protected in civil war. CHINA T, NContinuous occupation with flare-ups. CUBA1912TU.S. interests protected in civil war. PANAMA1912TMarines land during heated election. HONDURAS1912TMarines protect U.S. economic interests. NICARAGUA T, B10-year occupation, fought guerillas MEXICO1913NAmericans evacuated during revolution.

11 First World War Era Intervention in Mexican Revolution World War I in France Intervention in Russian Revolution

12 Marine Major General Smedley Butler “War is just a racket…. I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster ….I helped make Mexico… safe for American oil interests in I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. …. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints.” Marine Major General Smedley Butler “War is just a racket…. I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster ….I helped make Mexico… safe for American oil interests in I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. …. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints.” Butler in Haiti in 1915

13 DOMINICAN REP.1914NFight with rebels over Santo Domingo. COLORADO1914TBreaking of miners' strike by Army. MEXICO T, NSeries of interventions against nationalists. HAITI T, B19-year occupation after revolts. DOMINICAN REP T8-year Marine occupation. CUBA TMilitary occupation, economic protectorate. WORLD WAR I T, N Ships sunk, fought Germany for 1 1/2 years. RUSSIA T, N Five landings to fight Bolsheviks PANAMA T"Police duty" during unrest after elections. HONDURAS1919TMarines land during election campaign. YUGOSLAVIA1919TMarines intervene for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia.

14 Interwar Years & WWII WWI veterans’ protest camp burned in DC World War II Detroit uprising

15 GUATEMALA1920T2-week intervention against unionists. WEST VIRGINIA T, BArmy intervenes against mineworkers. TURKEY1922TFought nationalists in Smyrna. CHINA T, NDeployment during nationalist revolt. HONDURAS TLanded twice during election strife. PANAMA1925TMarines suppress general strike. CHINA TMarines stationed throughout the country. EL SALVADOR1932NWarships send during Farabundo Marti revolt. WASHINGTON DC1932TArmy stops WWI vet bonus protest. WORLD WAR II T, N, Hawaii bombed, fought Japan, Germany B, NU and Italy for 3 years; First nuclear war. DETROIT1943TArmy put down Black rebellion.

16 Truman’s Early Cold War KoreanWar GreekCivilWar

17 IRAN1946NTSoviet troops told to leave north. YUGOSLAVIA1946N, NTResponse to shoot-down of US plane. URUGUAY1947NTBombers deployed as show of strength. GREECE COU.S. directs extreme-right in civil war. GERMANY1948NTAtomic-capable bombers guard Berlin Airlift. CHINA TMarines evacuate Americans before Communist victory. PHILIPPINES COCIA directs war against Huk Rebellion. PUERTO RICO1950COIndependence rebellion crushed in Ponce. KOREA (-?)T, N, U.S./So. Korea fights China/No. Korea B, NTto stalemate; A-bomb threat in 1950, and against China in Still have bases.

18 Eisenhower Cold War Democratic gov’t ousted for Shah of Iran Democratic gov’t ousted in Guatemala Marines in Beirut, Lebanon

19 IRAN1953COCIA overthrows democracy, installs Shah. VIETNAM1954NTFrench offered bombs to use against seige. GUATEMALA1954B, COCIA directs exile invasion after new gov't nationalized U.S. company lands; bombers based in Nicaragua. EGYPT1956T, NTSoviets told to keep out of Suez crisis; Marines evacuate foreigners. LEBANONl958T, NMarine occupation against rebels. IRAQ1958NTIraq warned against invading Kuwait. CHINAl958NTChina told not to move on Taiwan isles. PANAMA1958TFlag protests erupt into confrontation.

20 Kennedy/LBJ Vietnam Era CubanMissileCrisis BerlinCrisis Dominican invasion African American uprisings in U.S. uprisings in U.S. Vietnam War

21 VIETNAMl960-75T, N, Fought South Vietnam revolt & North Vietnam; B, NT 1-2 million killed in longest U.S. war; atomic bomb threats in l968 and l969. LAOS1962COMilitary buildup during guerrilla war. CUBAl961COCIA-directed exile invasion fails. GERMANYl961NTAlert during Berlin Wall crisis. CUBAl962N, NTBlockade during missile crisis; near-war with USSR. PANAMAl964TPanamanians shot for urging canal's return. INDONESIAl965COMillion killed in CIA-assisted army coup. DOMINICAN REP T, BMarines land during election campaign. GUATEMALAl966-67COGreen Berets intervene against rebels. DETROITl967TArmy battles African Americans, 43 killed. UNITED STATESl968TAfter King is shot; over 21,000 soldiers in cities.

22 Nixon/Ford/Carter interventions Invasions of neutral Cambodia and Laos Wounded Knee siege Chile’s elected president killed in coup Iran raid fails

23 CAMBODIAl969-75T, N, BUp to 2 million killed in decade of bombing, starvation, and political chaos. OMANl970COU.S. directs Iranian marine invasion. LAOSl971-73B, COU.S. directs South Vietnamese invasion; "carpet-bombs" countryside, aids Hmong. SOUTH DAKOTAl973COArmy directs Wounded Knee siege of Lakotas. MIDEAST1973NTWorld-wide alert during Mideast War. CHILE1973COCIA-backed coup ousts elected marxist president. CAMBODIAl975T, BGas captured ship, 28 die in copter crash. ANGOLAl976-92COCIA assists South African-backed rebels. IRANl980T, NTRaid to rescue Embassy hostages (aborted bombing); fails as 8 troops die in helicopter-plane crash. Soviets warned not to get involved in revolution.

24 Reagan’s Cold War Revival Contras in Nicaragua Civil war in El Salvador Marines, Navy back in Beirut Grenada unilateral invasion Libya bombing Naval skirmishes with Iran

25 LIBYAl981NJTwo Libyan jets shot down in maneuvers. EL SALVADORl981-92T, CO Advisors, overflights aid anti-rebel war, soldiers briefly involved in1992 hostage clash. NICARAGUAl981-90N, COCIA directs exile (Contra) invasions, plants harbor mines vs Sandinista revolution. LEBANONl982-84T, N, BMarines expel PLO and back Phalangists, Navy bombs and shells Muslim & Syrian positions. GRENADAl983-84T, BInvasion four years after revolution ousts regime. HONDURASl983-89TManeuvers help build bases near borders. IRANl984JTwo Iranian jets shot down over Persian Gulf. LIBYAl986N, BAir strikes to topple nationalist gov't. BOLIVIA1986TArmy assists raids on cocaine region. IRANl987-88N, MU.S. intervenes to protect Iraqi tankers in Iran war.

26 Bush I interventions Panama invasion ousts former ally Gulf War over Kuwait Somalia landing Los Angeles rebellion

27 LIBYA1989NJTwo Libyan jets shot down. VIRGIN ISLANDS1989TSt. Croix Black unrest after storm. PHILIPPINES1989JAir cover provided for government against coup. PANAMA1989 (-?)T, BNationalist government ousted by 27,000 soldiers, leaders arrested, civilians killed. LIBERIA1990TForeigners evacuated during civil war. SAUDI ARABIA T, JIraq countered after invading Kuwait. 540,000 troops also stationed in Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Israel. IRAQ1990-? T, N, BBlockade of Iraqi and Jordanian ports, air strikes; 200,000+ killed in invasion of Iraq and Kuwait; no-fly zone over Kurdish north, Shiite south, large-scale destruction of Iraqi military. KUWAIT1991T, N, BKuwait royal family returned to throne. LOS ANGELES1992TArmy, Marines deployed against anti-police uprising. SOMALIA T, N, BU.S.-led United Nations occupation during civil war; raids against one Mogadishu faction.

28 Clinton interventions Bosniaintervention backs Croatia Sudanbombing Yugoslavia bombing, Kosovo occupation Reversal of coup against elected leader in Haiti Continuous Iraq bombings

29 YUGOSLAVIA NNATO blockade of Serbia and Montenegro. BOSNIA1993-?B, JNo-fly zone in civil war; downed jets, bombed Serbs. HAITI1994T, NTroops restore Aristide to office 3 years after coup. ZAIRE (CONGO) TMarines at Rwandan Hutu refugee camps, in area where Congo revolution begins. LIBERIA1997TSoldiers under fire during evacuation of foreigners. ALBANIA1997TSoldiers under fire during evacuation of foreigners. SUDAN1998MAttack on pharmaceutical plant alleged to be "terrorist" nerve gas plant. AFGHANISTAN1998MAttack on former CIA training camps used by al-Qaeda after attack on Africa embassies. IRAQ1998-?B, MFour days of intensive air strikes after weapons inspectors allege Iraqi obstructions. YUGOSLAVIA1999B, MHeavy NATO air strikes after Serbia declines to withdraw from Kosovo, followed by NATO occupation EAST TIMOR2000TLogistical team aids Australian-led UN peacekeepers MACEDONIA2001TNATO forces deployed to move Albanian rebels.

30 Bush II unilateralism Afghaninvasion after 9/11 Permits coup against elected leader of Haiti “They’ll never shake the world of the United States.” - GWB, Iraqinvasion,occupation

31 UNITED STATES2001N, JReaction to hijacker attacks on New York, DC AFGHANISTAN2001-?T, B, MMassive U.S. mobilization to overthrow Taliban, hunt Al Qaeda fighters, install Karzai regime. YEMEN2002MPredator drone missile attack on Al Qaeda fighters ( including US citizen) 2 years after USS Cole bombed PHILIPPINES2002-?T, NTraining mission for Philippine military fighting Muslim Abu Sayyaf rebels evolves into US combat missions in Sulu Archipelago next to Mindanao. COLOMBIA2003-?TUS special forces sent to rebel zone to back up Colombian military protecting oil pipeline. LIBERIA2003TBrief involvement in peacekeeping force as rebels drove out leader. IRAQ2003-?T, N, Saddam regime toppled in Baghdad. US and UK B, Mattack and occupy country, fight insurgencies. HAITI T, N Marines land after rebels oust elected Pres. Aristide. SYRIA 2008 T Special Forces in helicopter raid 5 miles from Iraq kill 8 Syrian civilians

32 Obama escalation, AC-130 Gunship Predator drone with Hellfire missile Yemen Pakistan Somalia

33 PAKISTAN 2005-? M, B, CO CIA missile and air strikes and Special Forces raids on alleged Al Qaeda & Taliban refuge villages kill multiple civilians. Drone attacks on Pakistani Taliban network. SOMALIA 2006-? M, N, CO Special Forces advise Ethiopian invasion that topples Islamist government; AC-130 strikes, helicopter raids, Cruise missile attacks vs. Islamist rebels; naval blockade against "pirates" & insurgents. YEMEN 2009 M, CO Cruise missile attack on Al Qaeda kills 49 civilians; proxy army raids on southern rebels

34 New U.S. military base clusters 1.Gulf War, Yugoslav wars, 1990 s 3.Afghan War, Iraq War, 2003 Bases built to wage wars, or wars waged to build bases? Bases as political tripwires U.S. sphere of influence growing between economic competitors in EU & Asia Z article available Z article available

35 1. Defending civilian lives? 1. Defending civilian lives? Military tactics often left behind massive civilian "collateral damage.”Military tactics often left behind massive civilian "collateral damage.” Little distinction between rebels and the civilians who in rebel zones.Little distinction between rebels and the civilians who in rebel zones. Little distinction between military assets and civilian infrastructureLittle distinction between military assets and civilian infrastructure (train lines, water plants, agricultural factories, medicine supplies, etc.) (train lines, water plants, agricultural factories, medicine supplies, etc.) New technologies in each war said to prevent civilian casualties,New technologies in each war said to prevent civilian casualties, Inevitable civilian deaths explained away as "accidental," "unavoidable."Inevitable civilian deaths explained away as "accidental," "unavoidable." Iraq 1991, 2003

36 2. Defending “Freedom”/“Democracy”? 2. Defending “Freedom”/“Democracy”? Nearly all interventions defended or installed pro-U.S. dictators.Nearly all interventions defended or installed pro-U.S. dictators. Ideological agenda (defending capitalism) (Vietnam, Central America)Ideological agenda (defending capitalism) (Vietnam, Central America) Economic agenda (defending oil or investments) (Persian Gulf, Chile)Economic agenda (defending oil or investments) (Persian Gulf, Chile) A few interventions toppled dictatorships that had been backed by U.S.A few interventions toppled dictatorships that had been backed by U.S. Intervened to prevent the people from overthrowing their own dictator first, and installing their own democratic government (Panama, Iraq). Intervened to prevent the people from overthrowing their own dictator first, and installing their own democratic government (Panama, Iraq). Reinstalled democratically elected leader to office, but undercut his power and later encouraged his ouster (Haiti)Reinstalled democratically elected leader to office, but undercut his power and later encouraged his ouster (Haiti) Vietnam1968 Chile1973 Kuwait1991

37 3. Stopping atrocities/terrorism 3. Stopping atrocities/terrorism and ethnic cleansing? Minimized or defended the same actions by the U.S. or its alliesMinimized or defended the same actions by the U.S. or its allies Double standards: U.S. ally's action by definition "defensive,"Double standards: U.S. ally's action by definition "defensive," but an enemy's retaliation is by definition "offensive." but an enemy's retaliation is by definition "offensive." Opposed ethnic cleansing by Serbs, not by Croatians or Albanians.Opposed ethnic cleansing by Serbs, not by Croatians or Albanians. Opposed Iraqi atrocities against Kurds, not Turkish atrocities, etc etc.Opposed Iraqi atrocities against Kurds, not Turkish atrocities, etc etc. U.S. trained exile “terrorists” against Cuba & Nicaragua;U.S. trained exile “terrorists” against Cuba & Nicaragua; could they bomb Florida in self-defense? could they bomb Florida in self-defense? El Mozote Massacre in El Salvador 1981 Serbs expelled from Croatia 1995

38 4. “Peacekeeping” to keep sides apart? 4. “Peacekeeping” to keep sides apart? U.S. portrayed as “neutral” peacekeeper with humanitarian motives.U.S. portrayed as “neutral” peacekeeper with humanitarian motives. Yet often divides the country or region into "friends" and "foes,"Yet often divides the country or region into "friends" and "foes," sides with one faction and arms it against another sides with one faction and arms it against another Outside interference enflames rather than dampens a war or civil conflict (Somalia, Bosnia)Outside interference enflames rather than dampens a war or civil conflict (Somalia, Bosnia) “Preventing civil war” argument can deepen resentment of U.S. role,“Preventing civil war” argument can deepen resentment of U.S. role, serve as self-fulfilling prophecy (Afghanistan, Iraq) serve as self-fulfilling prophecy (Afghanistan, Iraq) Somalia 1992, 1993

39 5. Creating “stability”? 5. Creating “stability”? Intervention often counterproductive even if one accepts U.S. goals/rationalesIntervention often counterproductive even if one accepts U.S. goals/rationales Rather than solving the root political or economic roots of the conflict,Rather than solving the root political or economic roots of the conflict, intervention polarizes factions and further destabilize the country intervention polarizes factions and further destabilize the country Culture of mistrust of U.S. intentions solidifies over time.Culture of mistrust of U.S. intentions solidifies over time. The same countries tend to reappear often on the interventions list.The same countries tend to reappear often on the interventions list. (Nicaragua, Haiti, Honduras, Philippines, Liberia, Panama, Iran, etc.) (Nicaragua, Haiti, Honduras, Philippines, Liberia, Panama, Iran, etc.) A U.S. intervention is the best way of guaranteeing a future intervention.A U.S. intervention is the best way of guaranteeing a future intervention. Haiti 1919, 1994, 2004

40 6. Weakening brutal dictators? 6. Weakening brutal dictators? Demonization of an enemy leader, or military action against him, tends to strengthen rather than weaken his hold on power.Demonization of an enemy leader, or military action against him, tends to strengthen rather than weaken his hold on power. Dictator portrays himself as David standing up to the American Goliath.Dictator portrays himself as David standing up to the American Goliath. Diverts internal dissent by (accurately) blaming many of economic problems on U.S. sanctions, & portraying dissidents as U.S. puppets. Diverts internal dissent by (accurately) blaming many of economic problems on U.S. sanctions, & portraying dissidents as U.S. puppets. Regimes most demonized:Regimes most demonized: Qaddafi, Castro, Saddam, Kim, Iranian ayatollahs Qaddafi, Castro, Saddam, Kim, Iranian ayatollahs Regimes in power the longest:Regimes in power the longest: Qaddafi, Castro, Saddam, Kim, Iranian ayatollahs Qaddafi, Castro, Saddam, Kim, Iranian ayatollahs

41 7. “We don’t commit atrocities” 7. “We don’t commit atrocities” One of the most dangerous ideas of the 20th century :One of the most dangerous ideas of the 20th century : "people like us" could not commit atrocities against civilians. "people like us" could not commit atrocities against civilians. Believed by British & French, Germans & Japanese,Believed by British & French, Germans & Japanese, Israelis & Arabs, Russians & Americans Israelis & Arabs, Russians & Americans Every country, every ethnicity, every religion,Every country, every ethnicity, every religion, contains the capability for extreme violence contains the capability for extreme violence All groups have a faction that is intolerant ofAll groups have a faction that is intolerant of other groups, and actively seeks to exclude other groups, and actively seeks to exclude or even kill them (encouraged by war fever) or even kill them (encouraged by war fever) The intolerant faction only succeeds in itsThe intolerant faction only succeeds in its goals if the rest of the group acquiesces goals if the rest of the group acquiesces or remains silent. or remains silent. Casualty estimates at Historical Atlas of the 20th Century:


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