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America’s Misguided Mission

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The end of the Cold War unleashed US military power upon the world. This past decade America has bombed, blasted and bullied its way into Panama (I989), northern Iraq (i99i), Somalia (I992-3), Bosnia (I995), Haiti (I995) and Kosovo (i999), not to mention booting the Iraqi army out of Kuwait (I990- 9I). To what end? US policy-makers claim that in addition to protecting inter- national security, force was used in these cases to defend human rights and/or restore democracy. Taking the Americans at their word, von Hippel sets out to examine how they got on. Von Hippel's book is rich with information on the technical side of US military intervention, providing an insightful compendium of the mistakes made and lessons learned. Much attention is given, for instance, to the need for effective civil-military cooperation. Success on this score in Haiti-with the inclusion of civilian agencies in the planning process and joint civil-military training prior to the intervention-is effectively contrasted with failure in Panama and Somalia (pp. II 9-2 I). Civilians were not involved in preparations for Panama because the mnilitary wanted to keep the invasion secret (p. 43), while the Somalia operation was characterized by bickering between UN officials, aid agencies and the US military (pp. 75, 78-9).

Publication Date


  • 2000

Citation


  • Farrell, T. 2000, 'America’s Misguided Mission', International Affairs: promoting dialogue between academics and policy-makers, vol. 76, no. 3, pp. 583-592.

Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 583

End Page


  • 592

Volume


  • 76

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • The end of the Cold War unleashed US military power upon the world. This past decade America has bombed, blasted and bullied its way into Panama (I989), northern Iraq (i99i), Somalia (I992-3), Bosnia (I995), Haiti (I995) and Kosovo (i999), not to mention booting the Iraqi army out of Kuwait (I990- 9I). To what end? US policy-makers claim that in addition to protecting inter- national security, force was used in these cases to defend human rights and/or restore democracy. Taking the Americans at their word, von Hippel sets out to examine how they got on. Von Hippel's book is rich with information on the technical side of US military intervention, providing an insightful compendium of the mistakes made and lessons learned. Much attention is given, for instance, to the need for effective civil-military cooperation. Success on this score in Haiti-with the inclusion of civilian agencies in the planning process and joint civil-military training prior to the intervention-is effectively contrasted with failure in Panama and Somalia (pp. II 9-2 I). Civilians were not involved in preparations for Panama because the mnilitary wanted to keep the invasion secret (p. 43), while the Somalia operation was characterized by bickering between UN officials, aid agencies and the US military (pp. 75, 78-9).

Publication Date


  • 2000

Citation


  • Farrell, T. 2000, 'America’s Misguided Mission', International Affairs: promoting dialogue between academics and policy-makers, vol. 76, no. 3, pp. 583-592.

Number Of Pages


  • 9

Start Page


  • 583

End Page


  • 592

Volume


  • 76

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom