Saving Democracies: U.S. Intervention in Threatened Democratic States

Saving Democracies: U.S. Intervention in Threatened Democratic States

Saving Democracies: U.S. Intervention in Threatened Democratic States

Saving Democracies: U.S. Intervention in Threatened Democratic States

Synopsis

It is a near certainty that, in the coming years, U.S. combat forces will deploy to foreign shores to confront guerrilla forces in the defense of new and/or unstable democratic governments that are threatened by armed internal opponents. This likelihood makes it imperative to address assertions that U.S. armed forces are not well prepared to engage in protracted conflict with guerrilla forces. Clearly, U.S. military involvement abroad, especially for extended periods and in ambiguous circumstances, will also have profound implications for U.S. domestic politics. Drawing upon experts from the intelligence, military, and academic communities, this study brings a variety of perspectives to this complex foreign policy issue.

Excerpt

The collapse of the empire of Josef Stalin in 1989 soon precipitated the disintegration of the empire of Peter the Great. Thus the global political system found itself undergoing another period of profound transformation, the third in this century.

In the early post-Soviet years, expectations of the rapid spread of political democracy and free economies abounded. These expectations soon led to dismay as unforeseen troubles and challenges emerged at every turn. the era of communism was finished apparently, but its implosion had unleashed long-suppressed ethnic and religious rivalries, hatreds, and wars. More than one country saw its government simply disintegrate. Anarchy afflicting one society threatened to spread to its neighbors. the threat of or the enacting of internal and international violence raged in nearly every quarter.

These surprising and alarming developments coincided with the emergence (or recognition) of potentially quite large ethnoreligious movements and groups professing virulent hostility to the United States and to the entire West. in the view of some, the clash of ideologies was about to be superceded by the clash of civilizations.

The seemingly uncontrollable violence of the nineties, following so quickly upon the euphoria of the immediate post-Cold-War period, produced a paradoxical nostalgia for the exaggerated (and oxymoronic) "stability of the Cold War Era." As the millennium approached, the world of the Reagan presidency seemed very far . . .

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