United States Wars












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United States


The United States has military forces in every continent and can send air and missile strikes to any point on the planet. No other state can do this.

US forces are fighting at present in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent times they have been in action as part of "peacekeeping" forces in Bosnia and Kosovo.

During the second Bush presidency the United States may have been preparing a military strike of some kind against Iran, perhaps in 2008. (But in July 2008 the Military chiefs claimed that US forces couldn't tackle another war on top of the two they were then involved in.) How will this develop? Clearly there is a danger of war, but could the US afford a second war in the Middle East?

Probably the US has been discouraging Israel from attacking Iran.

Does the US have enemies that can seriously damage it? Clearly, no existing nation state could fight a war and "win" - whatever winning would mean these days.

Can informal groups of terrorists such as those directed or inspired by Osama bin Laden damage the US? Almost certainly only in a minor way.

However, although the US forces can clearly intimidate any organised government, they are clearly much less effective against informal groups of guerrillas - as was shown in Vietnam. In such conflicts more subtle forces are needed, which the US is perhaps less good at. There are limits to the power of large technological armies.

Last revised 24/03/09


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