Thesis: Does the US Have the Capability to Support Two Significant Conflicts Simultaneously?

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U.S. capability to support two conflicts

Does the U.S. have the capability to support two significant conflicts simultaneously?

The history of the United States of America (U.S.) is predicated on war. It can be said that it is a nation shaped in the crucible of war, which propelled it in its position as the most powerful nation the twentieth century has ever witnessed. In Anderson and Cayton's (2005) narrative of the American empire, they correctly assert that "wars have often punctuated the history of the United States" (xi). In documenting the history of America in the twentieth century, the authors aptly call this century as the Age of Intervention as opposed to three previous periods of this great nation (Anderson and Cayton xv). Categorizing American history as such provides an overview of the overarching philosophy that guided the wars the U.S. fought. For the twentieth century, America's wars were fought, as its civil and military leaders believe, in the name of bringing democracy and the American civilization to the uncivilized parts of the globe. This century witnessed the military might of the nation, which catapulted it in a position of being this world's lone superpower. And while the success of its military campaigns is hinged on its machinery and technology, it is the strong resolve of its civil and military leaders, which largely determined its emergence as the victor in the wars that it fought. In its most recent history, the U.S. has launched the so-called War on Terror, which up to this time is still being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its claim for victory in these two fronts is being heavily undermined by insurgencies, which, to the most astute and honest observer, appears to be a lost cause.

This paper argues that in spite of the U.S.'s superior technological and military capabilities, it is no longer in a position to support not even one war front. It summons the Eagle from its comfortable perch and challenges the notion that the U.S. remains to be a respected player, in a military sense, in the world scene because of the U.S.'s failure to sustain its projection as a superpower, which was largely undermined by internal divisions pertaining to the campaign against terror. This argument is hinged on three key elements that even the critics of the War on Terror are blind to and unwittingly contribute to its eventual defeat.

While other nations such as Russia, China, and the European Union have continuously and openly challenged the position of the U.S. In the political, economic and military spheres to create a multipolar world, the U.S. is currently still undisputed in the number of personnel on active duty, as well as in terms of advanced military equipment and technology. The seemingly elusive success in both Iraq and Afghanistan, however, brings one to question how this might and power do not translate to victory. It is important to note that the U.S. operates now in a world where, while it holds sway over the leadership in military operations, its weakness has been severely exposed when it was attacked within its borders. This was the impetus that drove the U.S. To war in various fronts. The Bush administration which launched the War on Terror failed to decisively decapitate the head of the terrorist network that pushed it to wage war against Islamic extremism represented by the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. These two war fronts continue to deplete the U.S.'s resources while insurgents consistently undermine any inroads made by coalition forces led by the U.S. Second, with a new, pacifist administration at the helm, the total about-face in U.S. foreign policy will further expose the U.S.'s refusal to use its might and power to contain both state and non-state supporters of terror, which will further cripple its ability to effectively support two significant conflicts at the same time. Third, the economic crisis that has reverberated throughout the world, now bordering to becoming a Greater Depression, has forced the new leadership to focus inwardly rather than fight wars in distant countries that essentially do not share the same American values of democracy. While the Obama administration would not admit to having an almost bankrupt economy, national resources will be allotted in the domestic front to revive the ailing economy rather than finance the protracted wars of the former administration largely perceived by the American public and intelligentsia as warmongering. Fourth, while losing lives is a natural consequence of wars, the recent wars waged by the U.S. found very little support from the American public. Critical of the Bush administration's foreign policy even after the September 11 attacks, the American people are at the forefront of criticizing its government for spending taxpayers' money on what they perceive as a war of aggression against helpless citizens from far off nations. This has effectively crippled the capability of the Bush administration to decisively act in the face of severe media and public criticism.

In its haste to wage its war against terror, the U.S. toppled the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein ignoring the fact that toppling Saddam's regime will pave the way for Iran to gain inroads in Iraq. Boasting of having helped establish a democratic government in Iraq, the U.S. unwittingly placed in power the "moderate" Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Recent months showed, however, that the moderate regime has indicated to support Iran, which is becoming more and more aggressive in its offensives, albeit through its proxies in the Middle East, against the U.S. And its ally, Israel, as it prepares to go nuclear (Palmer 11 citing Robert Baer in National Interest Online, October 30, 2008). Another blunder incapacitating U.S. military intervention in any front is the withdrawal of support for former Pakistani leader, General Pervez Musharraf, whose regime provided support for the U.S.'s war in Afghanistan. With the military regime replaced by an inept civilian government, threat to the U.S.'s supply route for the troops stationed in Afghanistan will effectively cut off logistical requirements for the war in Afghanistan. With Taliban and al-Qaeda launching attacks against coalition forces installations in Afghanistan, what better way of undermining the position of the U.S. In this war. An obvious consequence of these policy decisions will cost the U.S. its ground military personnel as well as the depletion of resources that are slowly being threatened with cut backs under the new Obama administration.

Then Senator Obama's battle cry during the presidential campaign was to reverse the overarching foreign policy of his predecessor. In his inaugural address, he made clear that his administration will be taking the soft approach to combating the war against Islamic extremism. While so-called "rogue nations" (i.e. Iran and Syria) do not hide their contempt for the U.S. And its institutions, Obama plans to offer these known terrorist-sponsoring nations the olive branch, which Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected. Such belief that diplomacy will work on hardliners that respect only force is such folly that will prove to be a fatal blow to the U.S.'s campaign for democracy in the Middle East. Offering economic concessions this policy will only further embolden Iran as the world's lone superpower cowers.

Four months after he was inaugurated in office, he was quick to make his word true as to his major shift in foreign policy. The Obama administration has started to cut back military spending by retiring "250 fighters and light bombers" in 2010, which some experts believe to be a major blow in the U.S. Air Force" (Scarborough). As domestic pressure increases to provide solution to the economic crisis, the Obama administration has committed to focusing inwardly to put the economic house back in shape. Understandably, this administration must deliver in its promise of change at the expense of the war that it is engaged in foreign soils.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Does the US Have the Capability to Support Two Significant Conflicts Simultaneously?.  (2009, April 22).  Retrieved May 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/capability-support-two-significant/1221

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"Does the US Have the Capability to Support Two Significant Conflicts Simultaneously?."  Essaytown.com.  April 22, 2009.  Accessed May 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/capability-support-two-significant/1221.