Published on January 22, 2008
NWC at NPS S&P RETROSPECT & PROSPECTK.J. Hagan04 June 2004: NWC at NPS S&P RETROSPECT & PROSPECT K.J. Hagan 04 June 2004 AFTERMATH Of AMERICAN WARS Since THE REVOLUTION OUTLINE of LECTURE: OUTLINE of LECTURE INTRODUCTION THE REVOLUTION (1775-1783) QUASI-WAR (1798-1800) WAR OF 1812 (1812-1815) MEXICAN WAR (1846-1848) CIVIL WAR (1861-1865) SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR (1898) WORLD WAR I (1914-1919) WORLD WAR II (1939-1945) KOREAN WAR (1950-1953) VIETNAM WAR (1964-1975) GULF I (1990-1991) INTRODUCTION: INTRODUCTION Clause: War is continuation of policy by other means. Clause: no nation goes to war unless it knows why it’s fighting. Clause: “fog of war” makes unpredictability inevitable. S&P has taken you through case studies of origins of war, conduct of wars and briefly to their ends, using Clause & Sunny as guides Today let’s look at some of the “unintended consequences” of past American wars. Idea is to suggest that even if a nation knows why it is going to war the war will yield unexpected results that subject it to choices of policy and strategy that—while quite different—may be no more congenial than the ones for which the nation went to war. Purpose is to suggest that the chaos in Iraq and the uncertainty of future American policy in the Middle East are not entirely without organic precedent. THE REVOLUTION (1775-1783): THE REVOLUTION (1775-1783) Proclaimed Reasons for War: Independence based on Enlightenment ideas and “Sacred Rights of Englishmen” How It Was Fought: Through attrition [G.W.], partisans or guerrillas [N. Greene], guerre de course at sea; French alliance (coalition warfare) Alterations During War: In strategy: from set pieces to attrition; dependence on French alliance after 1778 Nominal Results at Termination: Independence Unexpected Aftermath of Revolutionary War: UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF REVOLUTIONARY WAR (1783-1790S): UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF REVOLUTIONARY WAR (1783-1790S) Extreme decentralization, that is, 13 largely autonomous and loosely federated states bred chaos and impotence Felt most strongly in areas of taxation and conduct of foreign relations. Lack of a national army led to crisis of security due to inability to “defend” frontier against Indians or to force promised British evacuation of Northwest Forts. Result: extra-legal Constitutional Convention; Constitution (1787); Army, State, Treasury departments. Tangible Evidence: new frigates to subdue Barbary Pirates in Mediterranean and thus protect commerce. QUASI-WAR (1798-1800): QUASI-WAR (1798-1800) Proclaimed Reasons for War: French naval harassment of U.S. merchant vessels; desire to terminate entangling alliance with France; John Adams’ pique at French attempt to bribe his diplomats [a normal French procedure] How It Was Fought: Without declaration of war by Congress; gallant frigate actions on high seas Alterations During War: Suspension of civil liberties [“Alien and Sedition Acts]; creation of SecNav; building of frigates; permanence of USN. Nominal Results at Termination: End of alliance; end of French harassment of shipping Unexpected Aftermath of Quasi-War: UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF QUASI-WAR (1800-1812): UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF QUASI-WAR (1800-1812) Unpopularity of war cost John Adams reelection; fractured and destroyed forever the Federalist Party; Jefferson, perceived as radical atheist, elected president and focus of presidency shifted from merchant classes to farmers (including slave owners) By alienating French put U.S. more at mercy of British, who impressed seamen and interdicted trade with continent of Europe By showing resolution to French may have contributed to Napoleon’s decision to sell Louisiana Territory in 1803 WAR OF 1812 (1812-1815): WAR OF 1812 (1812-1815) Proclaimed Reasons for War: Dispute over “freedom of the seas” (i.e., trade with belligerents Britain and France); British impressment of American mariners; Brit. Inciting of Indians on frontier How It Was Fought: “Guerre de course” at sea; mini-fleet actions on Lakes; battles on frontier; desperation as British burned Washington and attacked New Orleans Alterations During War: Tacit abandonment of war aims to get peace before British really invaded North America Nominal Results at Termination: Status Quo Ante Bellum (S.Q.U.A.B.) Unexpected Aftermath of War of 1812: UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OFWAR OF 1812 (1815-1850): UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF WAR OF 1812 (1815-1850) In a word: “Second War for Independence,” that is, true acceptance as a sovereign nation by Great Britain, the world’s major global power; with two exceptions (Civil War and 1895), there never again was serious threat of Anglo-U.S. war U.S. preeminence in West Indies, Caribbean – Monroe Doctrine of 1823 (explicitly inspired by Great Britain) Joint U.S.-G.B. responsibility for trans-Isthmian canal Although the naval issues for which U.S. fought were largely unresolved, they would disappear as result of new naval technologies (steam) – it was a truly successful war! MEXICAN WAR (1846-1848): MEXICAN WAR (1846-1848) Proclaimed Reasons for War: Attack by Mexican troops on Gen. Z. Taylor’s troops (which were in disputed area near Rio Grande River); President Polk’s desire for California, New Mexico, Rio Grande boundary as justified by “Manifest Destiny” How It Was Fought: Amphibious operations (or at least landings) in Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Coast (Monterey); intense land battles in northeast of Mexico; Gen. Scott’s invasion and prolonged occupation of Mexico City Alterations During War: None of significance. Nominal Results at Termination: Acquisition of Southwest and California Unexpected Aftermath of Mexican War: UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF MEXICAN WAR (1848-1860): UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF MEXICAN WAR (1848-1860) In conjunction with simultaneous settlement of Oregon dispute with Great Britain, rise of U.S. in international standing as a major power Anglo-U.S. agreement to share building of trans-Isthmian canal (1850) Stimulation of further territorial expansion, but thwarted by issue of slavery (Compromise of 1850) Increase of overseas commercial expansion (M.C. Perry to Japan in 1850s) CIVIL WAR (1861-1865): CIVIL WAR (1861-1865) Proclaimed Reasons for War: Restore the integrity of the Union How It Was Fought by Union: Four years of unremitting fighting in massed battles; naval blockade at sea; amphibious operations along 3,000-mile coastline; vigorous diplomacy to avoid British intervention Alterations During War: In strategy: from “Anaconda Plan” to “annihilation”; In goals: from reunification to end of slavery Nominal Results at Termination: Reunification and end of slavery Unexpected Aftermath of Civil War: UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OFCIVIL WAR (1865-1890): UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF CIVIL WAR (1865-1890) Assassination of President Impeachment of President Johnson Congressional dominance over executive Much harsher “Reconstruction” Six-Year Crisis with Britain over “Alabama Claims” that could have resulted in war! Unleashing of bloody wars against Plains Indians lasting until 1890 Creation of a centralized industrialized economy stretching from coast to coast via railroad SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR (1898): SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR (1898) Proclaimed Reasons for War: Liberate Cuban people from yoke of Spanish oppression (Spain had ruled Cuba for hundreds of years) revolution dated from 1860s) How It Was Fought: Naval blockade and battle off Santiago de Cuba; Commodore Dewey’s attack on Manila Bay in the Philippines Alterations During War: Strategy: to fight for Cuba in Pacific (!) Policy: acquisition of Pacific empire (Hawaii, Wake, Guam, Philippines) Nominal Results at Termination: New empire, including Puerto Rico but not Cuba (only Gitmo) Unexpected Aftermath of Spanish-American War: UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR (1898-1941): UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR (1898-1941) Very bloody and savage suppression of Philippine Insurrection (until 1903) Brief but decisive military intervention in China with other great powers during “Boxer Rebellion (1899) Birth of real tension with Japan, which appeared to be threatening Philippines and perhaps Hawaii Hegemony in Caribbean and West Indies, acquiesced to by Great Britain. Building of Panama Canal (1904-1914) “Banana Wars” in Cuba, Panama, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua WORLD WAR I (1914-1919): WORLD WAR I (1914-1919) Proclaimed Reasons for War (U.S. entry only): Retaliation for U-boat attacks on merchant marine; “make world safe for democracy;” form League of Nations; “freedom of seas” How It Was Fought: American Expeditionary Army under Pershing; convoys of supply and troop ships by U.S.N. and Royal Navy Alterations During War: Battleships proved irrelevant despite Mahan’s teachings Nominal Results at Termination: Punitive peace of Versailles to be meliorated by League of Nations Unexpected Aftermath of World War I: UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF WORLD WAR I (1919-1939): UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF WORLD WAR I (1919-1939) U.S. failed to join its own League and retreated into isolationism leaving Europeans to their own traditional diplomatic-military devices Germany economically prostrate (thus Hitler); Soviet Russia outcast (Stalin becomes dominant), French insecure (Maginot Line), strong anti-war sentiment paralyzes G.B. Washington Naval Conference (1921-1922) gave U.S.N. parity in major combatants (heavy cruisers and battleships) for first time in history Japan acquired Pacific Islands (Marshalls, Marianas, Carolines) as fruits of war, directly challenging U.S. route to Philippines WORLD WAR II (1939-1945): WORLD WAR II (1939-1945) Proclaimed Reasons for War (U.S.): Punish aggressors (Japan, Germany); achieve security for U.S. in Atlantic and Pacific; create United Nations How It Was Fought: Globally; with coalition; with all branches of services; with large-scale (not total) mobilization Alterations During War: Unconditional surrender Nominal Results at Termination: Germany and Japan defeated, devastated, occupied Unexpected Aftermath of World War II: UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF WORLD WAR II (1945-1950): UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF WORLD WAR II (1945-1950) Unprecedented U.S. military occupation of Germany and Japan and then maintenance of powerful military presence for over 50 years. Cold War with U.S.S.R. Substantial turmoil, instability, civil wars in many areas too easily overlooked (John Keegan cites Greek civil war lasting until 1949 and killing 150,000 people. [see his “History tells us that most conflicts end in chaos,” 01 June 2004: www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main/jhtml]) KOREAN WAR (1950-1953): KOREAN WAR (1950-1953) Proclaimed Reasons for War: Repel North Korean invasion of South; “Containment” of (Soviet) Communist expansion How It Was Fought: “Limited war” doctrine prevailed Alterations During War: U.S. extended protection to Taiwan and aid to French in Indochina; Liberation of North and democratic unification of all of Korea proclaimed briefly in 1950 Nominal Results at Termination: South Korea secure; Europe (NATO) armed; “Containment” firmly established as U.S. policy Unexpected Aftermath of Korean War: UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF KOREAN WAR (1953-1963): UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF KOREAN WAR (1953-1963) Temporary boundary (38th parallel) became (thus far) a permanent one between two ideologically opposed states backed by ideologically opposed superpowers Large-scale U.S. occupation of South Korea for over 50 years Nuclearization of the peninsula (by North in last two decades) VIETNAM WAR (1964-1973): VIETNAM WAR (1964-1973) Proclaimed Reasons for War: Retaliation for Gulf of Tonkin attack on Maddox and Turner Joy (1964); sustain independent and democratic South Vietnam; Containment of (Soviet) Communism; avoid “domino effect” of states falling in Asia to Communism. How It Was Fought: Large-scale U.S. military intervention, 1965-1968; thereafter by increasing air attacks on North Vietnam and Cambodia and draw-down of U.S. forces under name of “Vietnamization” Alterations During War: Continual shifts in announced strategy and policy especially by President Johnson (1963-1969) Nominal Results at Termination: Loss of South Vietnam to North (1975) Unexpected Aftermath of Vietnam War: UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF VIETNAM WAR (1973-Present): UNEXPECTED AFTERMATH OF VIETNAM WAR (1973-Present) Lingering animosity between U.S. civilian and military elites Great reluctance to use military: Pres. Carter & Iranian hostage crisis; Pres. Reagan and death of 241 Marines in Lebanon in Oct. 1983 [Gen. Powell, on NSC, said using force in “Beirut wasn’t sensible. . . . It was goofy from the beginning.” (AFP, II, 447)] Upheaval in U.S. military strategic thinking: emergence of the Clausewitzian school of thought; creation of S&P course at NWC. GULF WAR (1990-1991): GULF WAR (1990-1991) Proclaimed Reasons for War: Expel Iraq from Kuwait How It Was Fought: High-tech naval and air force plus large-scale ground operations; with coalition Alterations During War Nominal Results at Termination: Iraq expelled; Iraq dictator still in power; Iraq army weakened but not demolished Unexpected Aftermath of Gulf War: UNEXPECT AFTERMATH OF GULF WAR (1991-Present): UNEXPECT AFTERMATH OF GULF WAR (1991-Present) “New world order,” BUT: Saddam lived on Question of his having WMD Shiite uprising in south and brutal suppression U.S. flights in Iraqi “No-Fly Zones” U.N.-sanctioned embargo Weapons inspections Ultimately, frustration of U.S. and decision to eliminate Saddam EPILOGUE: THE WAR IN IRAQ: EPILOGUE: THE WAR IN IRAQ “Reality is an uncomfortable companion, particularly to people of good will. George H. W. Bush’s proclamation of a new world order has persuaded too many in the West that the world’s future could be managed within a legal framework, by discussion and conciliation. The warnings uttered by his son that the United States was determined to bring other enemies of nuclear and regional stability to book—Iran, North Korea—was found by his political opponents profoundly unsettling. The reality of the Iraq campaign on March-April 2003, however, a better guide to what needs to be done to secure the safety of our world than any amount of law-making or treaty-writing can offer.” [John Keegan, The Iraq War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), p. 219.] A GRIM PROGNOSTICATION TO BE MADE TWO DAYS BEFORE THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY!!!