The Intervention Debate: Towards a Posture of Principled Judgement

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DIANE Publishing, 2002 - 97 pages
The author argues that American policymakers must take an approach based on "principled judgment" when deciding on the use of force. The 1990s showed the extremes of deciding when and how to use force, one of the central elements of strategy. Throughout American history, debate has raged over whether force is appropriate only in defense of the homeland and vital national interests or whether it should also be used to promote more expansive objectives like regional security and stopping humanitarian disasters in regions with few tangible U.S. interests. He concludes with a discussion of Army roles and requirements for future contingencies.

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Page 85 - Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department (New York: WW Norton, 1969), p.
Page 32 - Is the political objective we seek to achieve important, clearly defined and understood? Have all other nonviolent policy means failed? Will military force achieve the objective? At what cost?
Page 33 - Have a clear political objective and stick to it. Use all the force necessary, and do not apologize for going in big if that is what it takes.
Page 36 - Similarly, we cannot always decide in advance which interests will require our using military force to protect them. The relative importance of an interest is not a guide: Military force may not be the best way of safeguarding something vital, while using force might be the best way to protect an interest that qualifies as important but less than vital.
Page 19 - If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.
Page 48 - To back away from this challenge, in view of our capacity for meeting it, would be highly destructive of the power and prestige of the United States.
Page 56 - Second, if we decide it is necessary to put combat troops into a given situation, we should do so wholeheartedly, and with the clear intention of winning.
Page 48 - Plainly, this attack did not amount to a casus belli against the Soviet Union. Equally plainly, it was an open, undisguised challenge to our internationally accepted position as the protector of South Korea, an area of great importance to the security of American-occupied Japan.
Page 35 - Using military force makes sense as a policy where the stakes warrant, where and when force can be effective, where no other policies are likely to prove effective, where its application can be limited in scope and time, and where the potential benefits justify the potential costs and sacrifice.57 He further argued that whenever possible the United States should lead international coalitions and contribute to them "in a manner commensurate with our wealth . . . and strength.
Page 50 - States, terrorists, and other disaffected groups will acquire weapons of mass destruction and mass disruption, and some will use them. Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers.

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