Military Intervention in the Third World: Threats, Constraints and Options

Military Intervention in the Third World: Threats, Constraints and Options

Military Intervention in the Third World: Threats, Constraints and Options

Military Intervention in the Third World: Threats, Constraints and Options

Excerpt

Since the Korean War military interventions in the Third World by the United States, whether successful or unsuccessful, almost invariably have been controversial. In Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, and Iran the U.S. experience has been deeply frustrating. Although much public commentary has focused on U.S. military debacles in the Third World, the United States has also recorded modest successes—in Lebanon in 1958, (arguably) in the Dominican Republic in 1965, and in Grenada in 1983.

While reasonable people may legitimately disagree over the wisdom of particular interventions, there can be little doubt that U.S. commitments and interests inevitably extend beyond these shores and to regions of the world outside Europe. In many of these regions the security interests of the United States are directly affected by either local instabilities or external intervention. Where the stakes are high, the United States, if it is to exercise diplomatic leverage, must be prepared credibly to threaten the use of force and, in the last resort, to exercise it where vital interests hang in the balance.

But as the following essays demonstrate, intervening with military forces in the Third World poses enormous challenges to U.S. foreign policy and defense planners. Individual acts of terrorism, civil wars, and the growing presence of Soviet and Soviet proxy forces in the Third World combine to complicate the threats with which the United States must deal.

In an effort to shed light on these challenges, the essays in this book cover both the theoretical and practical aspects of military intervention in the Third World. They examine the diversity of threats facing this country, political and technical constraints on the projection of U.S. military power, and the options and opportunities available to policymakers.

The chapters include updated versions of papers originally delivered at the Conference on Military Intervention in the Third World: U.S. Policy Options for the 1980s, held in December 1981 by the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Gordon H. McCormick, Military Studies Coordinator at the FPRI, is principally responsible for conceptualizing the volume, while John H.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.