After World War II, the USA deployed its forces in Eurasia and began to play a central role in the normalization of the geopolitics on the continent. During the Cold War, not only did the alliance led by the USA suppressed the Soviet aggression, but it also supported democratic tendencies in numerous East European countries to establish a liberal international order there (Hybel, 2012). Today, the US forces participate in dozens of military operations around the world. This guarantees the USA a dominant position of a superpower in the 21st century. For the last few decades, the US army has been involved in the internal affairs of other countries, with the goal to help them to protect democratic principles and rights from the undemocratic means of power. A policing role of the USA has shaped the political environment in the regions of East and Middle Asia as well as Eastern Europe. Due to these altruistic act of the American government, this superpower has been called the ‘policeman of the world’, which is sometimes very important in a violent undemocratic world.
International Events that the US Military Was Involved in the Last Five Years
After the Second World War, the United States moved to become the dominant force in international relations. In this role, the USA participated in the war in Afghanistan, Vietnam, and East Asia, the Korean War, two wars in Iraq, and the conflicts in Iran, Kosovo, Libya, and Syria (Khalilzad, 2016). In some these countries, the US participation was indirect, but it still existed. The two international events, where the USA has been involved in the last five years, are the conflicts in Libya and Syria. They can demonstrate how the USA manages to obtain better political and economic conditions in the world.
The civil war in Syria has lasted for more than four years already. Starting from July 2013, the USA has had an active military intervention in the conflict. The United States insisted that Syrian President Assad was personally responsible for large-scale crimes, and therefore, he must leave his position (Khalilzad, 2016). In this local conflict, the United States supports the main opposition alliance of Syria and provides a limited military assistance to moderate insurgents. The United States has also become one of the initiators of the creation of an international coalition against the local terrorist organizations. Now, this union includes the majority of EU member states, NATO, and the Arab Cooperation Council of the Persian Gulf.
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As the main policeman of the world, the USA also participated part in the conflict in Libya, where its military forces fought with terrorism. From the outset, the situation in Libya had concerned the West, and after the country was left without a single center of government, the world community began to take steps to encourage the Libyans to form a government of national consensus. The conflict started in February 2011 and immediately turned into a full-scale civil war between the opposition groups and the government forces, led by Muammar Gaddafi. Following the unjustified use of aviation against peaceful protests in late February 2011 by the government forces, the UN Security Council’s resolution imposed sanctions against the official authorities of Libya. In March 2011, the aviation of NATO members began bombing the positions of government troops and military infrastructure facilities. Officially, the civil war in Libya ended in October 2011 when Muammar Gaddafi was murdered. However, armed clashes between militant groups and various militias continue to this day. Thus, the military intervention led to numerous destructions and deaths.
The United States also participated in halting the development of nuclear programs in a number of countries such as Iran, Sudan, and North Korea. The primary goal of the United States is to dismantle the missile programs of these countries. Nuclear weapons in their hands represent a major threat not only for the regional but also for the global security system. Today, the most complicated situation is with the elimination of the North Korean nuclear program. The entire Asian region watches the North Korean-American dispute with great concern. Despite the presence of other major players, such as Russia and China, the USA plays the role of the main policeman in this situation.
Aspects of the US History that Made the USA a Super Policeman After the Civil War
Various economic and political preconditions have led the USA to becoming the world’s policeman since the Civil War. Thus, the main reason to interfere with the local conflicts in the Middle East became the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The direct threat to the US citizens on their territory intensified the US decision to control Islamic militants. From that moment, the US foreign policy has significantly changed. After the Black Monday, President George W. Bush launched an initiative to fight terrorism as the main vector in the US foreign policy. The policy meant to control the Middle East countries such as as Iran and its aggressive neighbors.
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As the result of the new foreign policy vector, the American humanitarian aid became a part of the US military help. Thus, it was used during various military operations. For example, during the operations in Iraq, when the Red Cross was unable to help, the USA launched a program of humanitarian aid. In the frame of the aid, the US troops helped millions of Iraqi citizens after they had been displaced from their homes (USA International Business Publishing, 2014).
The US defense sector and its military intelligence are the most advanced ones in the world. Cyber-technology is actively used by the United States to keep control over the local conflicts. Educating the public on political issues, informing them about the preconditions of wars and policy initiatives, redirecting the public attention to other issues, creating fake news, mobilizing supporters and volunteers for the protest events and movements, and hacking the databases of political institutions are the main vectors of its use. Cyber-technology has shaped the modern American politics.
The US Policing Role Incidents
Among the great number of the US military interventions, there were those ended in a total catastrophe for the global economic and political stability.
The US military command made a mistake when they decided to send troops and overthrow the Libyan government led by Mohammed Gaddafi. He was killed later, and the military intervention remained without some specific goals. The operation could not be called successful since it was not possible to unite Libya and bring it finally back to a peaceful life.
A similar situation occurred in the Iraq War. After the overthrow of the regime of Saddam Hussein, the country was swept by a wave of terror. The official date for the end of the Iraq war was 2011, when the last US military was withdrawn from the territory of the country. Despite this fact, major terrorist attacks in Iraq still occur today.
The involvement in Somalia in 1991 during the local civil conflict was also the US strategic mistake. The US forces had to maintain peace in the country. In 1993, the purpose of the operation that would receive the name the Battle of Mogadishu was to capture Mohammed Farrah Aidid, one of the leaders of the local armed group that had claimed power in the country. Nevertheless, the US forces failed to catch him. The operation ended in a city battle and a complete failure of those who participated in it. Afterwards, the US government decided to withdraw US troops from the country. The military campaign in Somalia cost the USA dozens of dead and wounded, while the loss of the civilian population of Somali was difficult to assess. The conflict in Somalia has not yet been resolved.
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One of the biggest mistakes remains the Vietnam War. This was mainly a war between the country’s communist government that had support in the North against the US allies in South Vietnam. The war dragged on indefinitely. The conflict could only be resolved through political means, but this was also impossible. The leadership of the USSR and the United States, disillusioned with their allies, stopped all attempts to persuade the participants of the war to take their side. The Vietnam War was one of the longest conflicts in the modern age. It lasted from 1954 to 1975.
Incidents That Fueled International Policy Decisions
One of the eternal threats that determined the US participation in military operations was the fear of Communism, especially from China and Russia. After the collapse of the USSR, this threat seemed to have been eliminated. However, the ideas of this ideology were also developed in Communist China. With the introduction of Chinese characteristics, the ideas of equality, justice, brotherhood, and happiness of the working people continues to live and develop in the country today. Thus, the USA sees its main duty in the protection of its citizens and allies from different threats.
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According to this goal, the current foreign strategy requires the United States to support constantly its military forces in unstable regions, reassuring its friends and instilling fear in its enemies. This also means that the USA must support its allies on the front lines by providing them with modern technologies and economic guarantees. While maintaining political balance, the USA should try to support peace, encompass alliances and relations between democracies (Hybel, 2012).
The main American goal is to focus on the normalization of geopolitical balance in the regions of Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Pacific Asia. The United States can do this by strengthening its transpacific and transatlantic alliances as well as providing military help by trying to provide leadership and introduce democracy to the autocratic regimes in some parts of the world (Guerriero, 2014). The United States promotes a balance of powers in the target regions and, at the same time, finds ways to eliminate local conflicts.
The United States has become the dominant force in international relations after the Second World War. This position had a long period of formation. Since the Civil War, the USA had begun to rise as a superpower in the world arena, while its status of the world’s policeman was strengthened after various policing operations in the previous century. Having settled in the role of the main policeman in the world, the USA began to ensure peace between the great powers. In different periods in the modern history, this guaranteed peace in the region or brought the long-lasting military interventions to their logical end. The consequences of such great influence in the world for the United States led the country to the involvement in international military conflicts. As a result, the current US foreign strategies need the country to support constantly its military presence in the unstable regions, to control weak governments, support their economies and armies as well as to maintain peace.