US Military Bay of Pigs Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3159 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military

U.S. Military Bay of Pigs

War has basic principles by which it is conducted and it is important to abide by these. There are nine core principles of war which are objective, offensive, mass, economy of force, maneuver, unity of command, security, surprise, and simplicity. There have been many wars fought by different nations including the United States of America. A similar operation was conducted in Cuba by the counter revolutionary Cuban exile forces. These exile forces were supported by the CIA and the operation was to be carried out from the Bay of Pigs. President Kennedy's approval was received but the operation turned out to be a complete failure. It is the thesis of this paper that an analysis of the principles of war will be conducted. Further the understanding of the principles of war will be applied to the "Bay of Pigs" to see what went wrong. Did the CIA, the Cuban exile forces or Castro's army apply these principles of war? Why did it turn out to be such a failure for the United States?

THE APPLICABLE PRINCIPLES OF WAR

The theory of war aims to assess and analyze how superiority and material advantages would be achieved. To devise a plan it is highly essential to analyze the weaknesses of the enemy forces. Decisions should be made and executed on strong reasons so that no one can claim the war to be baseless. The basic applicable principles of war need to be considered and any plan devised should be in light of these principles which are as follows:

Objective: It is essential that an operation conducted by the military must be targeted and defined clearly. The goals should be realistic and achievable and all efforts should be made in the direction of achieving the goal of the operation regardless any difficulty or diversions caused by the enemy forces or for some other reason. Moreover it should be kept in mind that an objective should be defined and chosen after an analysis of the resources, the enemy, and the area of operations. Any war has only one ultimate goal which is the annihilation of the enemy forces to such an extent that no further resistance comes from them. Any sub-mission or sub-operation should be planned and have such goals so that the ultimate goal can be achieved. Ignoring this principle can have immense diverse effects on the war and a side can receive destructive blows from the enemy which may even cause them to lose the war in totality. During the Battle of Britain, in World War II, Adolf Hitler's Luftwaffe has an objective to cripple the British Air Force. They were very close to achieving this goal when the bombing of a city in Germany distracted Hitler's attention from the annihilation of the British Air Force, and he instead ordered the Luftwaffe to bomb London instead. This shift from the original objective proved to be beneficial for Britain and it bought them enough time to recuperate from the German attacks on its Air Force. Eventually this led to the victory of Britain in that war and the expulsion of the Luftwaffe. This example shows us the importance of the principle of "objective" and the negative effects it can have if it is omitted.

Offensive: Sometimes the best defense is strong offense and the importance of offensive action must not be under estimated at any cost. A military commander and his team must always be on guard and willing to go on the offense rather waiting for a defensive action. This can also at times give shape to the war just the way the military wants and can force the opposition to shift its course of action. Although good defense has its own beneficiary results, it should still be a temporary action till the time that one can see an opening for and offensive attack on the enemy forces. A competent military commander would always seek an opportunity to go on the offensive and thus push the war and the soldiers where they want them to be.

Mass: An elemental principle of war is to have superior power concentrated in a targeted attack which is of significant importance at a vital time. This concentration of the forces and their fire should be aimed to achieve such a target whose outcome would prove to be decisive in nature. Hence a correct evaluation for the importance of achieving that target should be made and then all efforts should be made to achieve it. The basic idea for this concentrated effort is to completely overpower the enemy forces, misbalancing them so as to fulfill the goal and ride the way to victory. The wolf pack submarine tactic put into action by the Germans in World War II, was in light of this principle where the orders were simply that the fleet should not be divided and a concentrated attack should be carried out.

Economy of Force: Forces should be used efficiently with delicacy and skill. Every single man charging at the enemies and forced not to retreat regardless of it being the right way to fight war or not cause adverse effects rather than desired ones. There should be sufficient fighting power at the point of decision even if retrograde action is to be taken. Forces should not be unnecessarily wasted and the best effort rather than a maximum effort should be made. A calculated deployment and allocation of forces should be made.

Maneuver: Maneuvering is generally a way to acquire local superiority which is essential to gain victory. Keeping in mind this principle, the forces are to be deployed in such a manner that their deployment puts the enemy forces at a disadvantageous position. It implies the complete evasion of otherwise pigeonholed patterns of operation.

Unity of Command: An army consists of an Air Force, Ground forces, and a Navy. Moreover, in an allied war, armies of other nations would also be present in the battlefield. A complete unity and coordination of all the armies including the different branches is basically labeled as Unity of Command. The commanders of these branches and divisions should receive their command from a supreme commander who should be reported to by all the different forces and their branches. Every unit has a different perspective and view of the situation at hand and coordination amongst them, where data is shared, would reveal to be of elemental importance. With such coordination and command being given by a single authority, a particular goal can be achieved which can be a key to victory. This method further ensures that no units or branches are carrying out any contradictory objectives which would be disastrous in nature.

Security: This principle teaches that sectors of importance should not be left unguarded and unprotected. Combat power should be preserved and the principle of security if obeyed decreases the chances for the element of surprise. Concentrating all the forces at one point would lead to be troublesome if the enemy forces attack elsewhere or if they gain control of a strategic sector. It will also be problematic if they are able to extract information of critical importance which can be used against the friendly forces. Hence security is a very important principle to act by when in a state of war.

Surprise: The element of surprise is what we often see being mentioned in movies where either party talks about the chances of being successful because they have the element of surprise with them. Indeed the element of surprise is of fundamental importance and can help shift the balance of the war. It is to be carried out in such a way that the enemy forces are unable to expeditiously resist the attack. The basic idea is to put use speed, secrecy, intelligence and counterintelligences along with deception in such a way that the enemy is completely bedazzled and the time it requires to understand and comprehend what just happened is far greater than the time to achieve the objective.

Simplicity: Complicated and extensive orders are hard for the military forces to understand and this could lead to a complete catastrophe. Keeping it simple with clear, concise and easy to execute orders should be the aim so as to minimize any possible confusion. Unless obviously necessary, a battle must be kept as simple as possible. Interestingly, this principle holds true for the weapons system. Complicated weapons are harder to use and are not as efficient in the battleground as simple weapons prove to be.

THE BAY OF PIGS

It had been only three months that Kennedy had taken hold of the presidential office of the United States when he gave clearance for the invasion of Cuba. Previously the government of the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown by rebel forces under the command of Fidel Castro in 1959. The growing guerrilla forces of Fidel Castro had already caused alarm bells ringing in the United States which in turn curbed its delivery of weapons… [END OF PREVIEW]

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