Upholding Democracy: The United States Military Campaign in Haiti, 1994-1997

Upholding Democracy: The United States Military Campaign in Haiti, 1994-1997

Upholding Democracy: The United States Military Campaign in Haiti, 1994-1997

Upholding Democracy: The United States Military Campaign in Haiti, 1994-1997

Synopsis

An inside account of the U. S. military operation to restore Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power in 1994, this study demonstrates progress made in joint warfighting in the period following the end of the Cold War, including improvements in command and control, joint force integration, and techniques for successful humanitarian operations. With ties to Haiti that date back over one hundred years, the United States could not stand by as a coup ousted Aristide in 1990. When the coup leaders refused to leave peacefully, forces authorized by the U. N. Security Council deployed toward Haiti. Diplomatic efforts by former President Carter, General Powell, and Senator Nunn eventually obtained the cooperation of coup leaders in the final hour, and on September 19, 1994, the first of over 50,000 U. S. military personnel arrived to ensure security, facilitate Aristide's return, and professionalize the Haitian security forces. General Henry Shelton, later the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, commanded the joint task force that entered Haiti under Chapter 7 of the U. N. Charter during one of the few recent instances of U. N. intervention without the concurrence of the host nation. While the operation was unique, its innovations will benefit planners for decades as humanitarian actions around the world continue to be important. This book illustrates the challenges of remaining engaged in support of the United Nations and of conducting modern military operations, which are highly dependent on close interagency and multinational coordination.

Excerpt

Since the end of the Cold War the nature of security for the United States and other nations of the industrialized world has changed. Security is no longer defined entirely in a military dimension: the political, economic, and cultural aspects of security have now gained prominence. Within that larger context, terrorism, drug smuggling, and illegal migration are viewed today as threats by many Americans. Conditions in many developing world countries spawn these problems, and they can ultimately affect the United States. the U.S. military is adapting to deal with these new threats through changes in missions, organization, and training.

Recent operations in Haiti reflect the U.S. military’s capacity to respond to operations across the spectrum of conflict, including operations other than war resulting from political and economic instability. Operation Uphold Democracy demonstrated military flexibility by transitioning from an assault operation in the initial execution phase to an unopposed intervention. Subsequent operations in Haiti established a stable and secure environment, which permitted the restoration of the legitimate government and follow-on democratic elections. United States joint task force commanders in Haiti successfully commanded a multinational force and completed a variety of tasks that enabled the transition to a United Nations military force. These wide-ranging actions in Haiti provided valuable experiences, from which we can learn, and important lessons, which we can build upon, for success in future operations. Uphold Democracy was not a template for coming operations, for they will all be unique, but this operation clearly demonstrated the appropriate use of the unique capabilities of today’s U.S. armed forces in a complex and changeable environment.

As Americans, we should all reflect upon the challenges facing the men and women of our armed forces today so that we can act within the democratic process . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

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.