Military Adventurism Essay

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Military Adventurism and Nation Building The Clinton administration gave way to a major transformation in the manner in which our military functioned. An unquestioned military power was beginning to see its power diminish as it became frequently used for measures that it was not designed. President Clinton began a policy of military adventurism during the 1990’s in which our troops were sent across the globe on peacekeeping missions trying to force democracy onto people. The purpose of the military used to be to go into an area, eliminate the enemy and get out. Leaders from the top down would ask what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and finally how we could do it better. As David Bolgiano and Colonel James Patterson describe in their book Fighting Today’s Wars, however, none of those questions are being answered today. Instead, the focus has become solely based around counterinsurgency and nation building. This has lead to tremendous increases in defense spending and mission creep, while severely hurting America’s ability to carry out force-on-force combat missions. In the days of multi-trillion dollar deficits, our military efforts should be focused on war fighting and defensive capabilities as opposed to the horribly expensive and never-ending nation-building and peacekeeping operations 1. This was the thought behind not overthrowing Saddam Hussein during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. At the time General Norman Schwarzkopf discussed the issue as being similar to a dinosaur in a tar pit. He pictured a situation in which “we would be the occupying power paying one hundred percent of all the costs to administer Iraq” 2. The first President Bush also described the incalculable human and political costs of trying to remove Saddam, picturing the United States fighting to hold onto control in a bitterly hostile land without much promise of success. Then

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