of World Domination
Throughout the past 70 years the U.S. has
been involved in hundreds of conflicts all around the globe. Every
time the United States troops are deployed to a foreign country, citizens
of the U.S. want to know why. People begin to ask questions like, “what
is the purpose of this?” or “what is the nature of our involvement?” Nobody
wants to see the strong youth of our nation shipped of to a foreign country
to get slaughtered without good cause. Millions of American men and
women have devoted their lives to the service and protection of the freedoms
that we as citizens of the United States hold dear. These people
deserve the utmost respect from all citizens of the United States.
When the government of our country see fit, our troops are sent to fight
often in places that they have never even heard of. When they return
they are heroes to be revered, or are they? All to often things go
wrong in these foreign countries and the soldiers often end up taking the
brunt of the nation’s frustration. When the government makes mistakes
and things do go wrong it causes the citizen of the U.S. to closer analyze
the situation. The citizens of the United States want some answers
and the government often fails in its attempts to satisfy the publics’
need to know. Ever since the beginning of the U.S. the government
have come up with one reason or another to start or get involved in conflicts
that should have otherwise been left alone. One of the first and
most prominent examples of this is the almost total enialation of the Native
American population in this country. Is the destruction of a culture
and a society as vast as that of the Native Americans really morally and
ethically permissable? The United States government thought that
it was. According to them it was God’s own destiny for them to conquer
the entire continent to bring it under the U.S. control. This just
shows that difference in ethical value strongly affects what a country
will accept as good cause for fighting. More recent conflicts like
the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Grenada, and the Gulf
war have made people analyze the ethicality behind the fighting.
They look for the true reason behind the involvement of the U.S., in an
attempt to find justification for the use of U.S. troops in foreign affairs.
This paper is an attempt to look at the ethicality of some of the major
conflict that the U.S. has been involved since the end of WW II.
It will also attempt to analyze what has come to be known as the “World
Police” mentality and the actions that the United States has taken to display
During the period of 1946-1950 a forty-year
period began called the Cold War. The Cold War was a period of aggression
in the name of democracy. During this time the United States did
some questionable activities under the guise that they were protecting
against the spread of communism.
On June 25, 1950 North Korea, using Chinese
training and Soviet military equipment, attacked South Korea. The
United States believed that Stalin and the USSR were ultimately behind
the invasion. The South Korean defenses crumbled and the United States
sent ground troops on June 30. The United Nations endorsed the deployment
of troops because the USSR was boycotting the United Nations. It
would seem a bit unfair that the United States would receive UN endorsement
based solely on the premises that the USSR had chosen not to be a part
of the UN. This become even more apparent when you take into account
that the United States was not even certain that the USSR was even involved
in the dispute.
On September 15, 1950, after a daring amphibious
attack 150 miles behind enemy line the US was able to push the North Koreans
back into North Korea. This is where the war should have stopped.
The North Koreans were in North Korea and the South Koreans had control
over South Korea. Furthermore, China was threatening that if the
US tried to unite Korea by force then they would enter the war on the side
of the North Koreans. Despite both of these facts, the United States
pushed further into North Korea. Knowing that it would cost thousands
of American lives and thousands more Korean lives to unite a country that
wanted to be separated, General Mc arthur and President Truman, with United
Nation’s support, pushed on. A two-year war ensued that would ultimately
cost the lives of 140,000 American service men and women. In the
end the country ended up just as it was before. Nothing lost, nothing gained.
The United States’ attack of Korea is considered
to be one of the worst failures of intelligence and strategic leadership
in the history of the United States military. In Washington, the
excitement of victory on the battlefield on September 15, 1950 obscured
the real objective of the war, which was to protect the freedom of the
South Korean people and reinstall a South Korean government. In a
shallow attempt to win seats in congress for the democrats, Truman pushed
General Mc Arthur to continue the attack and try to roll back communism.
A willing Mc Arthur was glad to oblige as he let his wish for military
success and a heroic reputation get in the way of his competent operation
of the United States military troops in Korea. The Korean War was
a very political war with both the president and chief general directing
the US forces looking for large victories to help bolster their careers.
Truman was looking for democratic votes and Mc Arthur was looking for glory,
but unfortunately there was no one looking out for the US troops or the
desires of the South Korean people.
The Korean War was a good example of ethical
egoism. It was a war in which all the involved parties were looking
out for their themselves and ignoring the effects that they had on everyone
else involved. The utility on a more global scale was not considered
because politicians were blinded by the attractiveness of glory and an
opportunity to push their own political agendas.
At 2am on February 7, the Viet Cong attacked
the United States base at Pleiku, two hundred and forty miles north of
Saigon, killing 8 Americans and Injuring 100 as well as destroying ten
US aircraft. A reltaliatory strike was immediately recommended and
operation Flaming Dart went into action. Flaming Dart was an air
strike were bombers took off from United States aircraft carriers in the
area and bombed “supposed” strategic military sights in North Vietnam.
The “supposed” strategic military sights included a number of intentional
bombings of civilian installments. A month later operation Rolling
Thunder began which was a full-scale offensive air attack. By doing
this the United States crossed the line from being a supporter of the South
Vietnamese to becoming the main leader of the entire offensive in South
Vietnam. Shortly after, the American people began to become divided
over the war and antiwar protests fostered violence all over the country.
The government that was supposed to be of the people and for the people
was ignoring the concerns of the people and often responding to there protests
with extreme violence. Protests continued and became ever more intense.
The selective service system that was intended to strengthen the military,
was often a focal point for the protests. In 1967 Martin Luther King
Jr called the war a moral disaster pointing to the fact that black people
made up only eleven percent of the population of the US but they made up
23 percents of the people killed in the war. He also pointed out
that the war costs weighed more on the poor and the working class because
deferments were granted to students in college and the poor and the working
class could not afford to attend college. Because of presidential
promises in early 1970, citizens of the US were under the impression that
the war was coming to a close and that the US involvement was declining.
On April 30, 1970, in a breach of the American people’s trust the US military
forces invaded Cambodia. When this hit the news in the US the people
were furious and students closed down colleges across the country.
These strikes in Cambodia weakened the Cambodian government and opened
it up to a working class revolution that cost the lives of over a million
Cambodians. The gulf of Tonkin resolution was repealed and the US
military troops were limited in their actions to only South Vietnam.
The official cease-fire began on January 27, 1973 and the United States
promised not to increase its aid to South Vietnam. Nixon suspended
the draft in favor of an all-volunteer military.
This is another example of egoism displayed
by the United States. When the US decided to invade Cambodia, they
did not take into account what might happen to the inhabitants of the area.
They were thinking solely of what benefit it might have for the United
States of America and not what the actual utility of the action might be
on a global scale. They had not considered that millions of people
might die as a result and the unfortunate reality of the situation is that
over a million people did die as a result.
In the early morning hours of October
25, 1983 the United States invaded the small Carribean Island of Grenada
with 1200 troops. They met heavy resistance from Cuban and Grenadan
installments. The US force was enlarged to 7000 and within days the
island fell under US control. Shortly after, the US installed a government
that was not communist and Pro-US. Just weeks earlier the Grenadan
Army under the leadership of the deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard seized
control of Grenada in a bloody coup. Coard was a hard line Marxist
and this raised concern among the population of the US because of its proximity
to the US coast. Also there were some 1000 students at a medical
school in Grenada. Under the guise of a rescue for the students,
the government went in and seized total control of the island in an attempt
to stomp out communism in the Carribean and confront what Reagan considered
to be a threat from the Soviet Union.
The attack was apposed by the Organization
of American States of which the US was a part. The action was also”deeply deplored” by the United Nations based on its 1970 injunction that
stated that no state or group of states has the right to intervene indirectly
or directly for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs
of another state. The United Nations Security Council voted 11-1
against the attack with the only positive vote coming from the United States.
Grenada was seen by many as a make-up war to appease the US citizens that
were outraged by a truck bomb attack that killed 241 US marines in Beirut,
Lebanon. The United States chose to ignore the recommendations of
the organizations that it belonged to, in order to relieve its aggression
on a country that was for all intents and purposes, innocent of any crime
against the United States. The underlying political agenda of extracting
revenge from Grenada clouded the president’s judgement in the invasion.
The end of the cold war marked the end
of this nation’s fear of communism. There was no more need for the
United States to intervene in the affairs of other countries on behalf
On August 2nd 1992 Iraq invaded Kuwait
and seized the entire country. Immediately the president of the United
States George Bush ordered an unconditional withdrawal. Why
did President George Bush feel that he had the authority or the right to
make such demands? It was not because Iraq had become a threat to
the security of the United States, or because he feared that Iraq would
grow to a point where Saddam Hussien’s regime was to powerful for the United
States or the world to handle. No it wasn’t that at all. The
reason behind the US involvement is that president bush thought that he
might have to pay a few cents extra for gas to fuel his Cadillacs.
Because the seizure of Kuwait put Iraq in control of 20% of the oil production
and reserves for the world, President Bush feared that it might have economic
reprocutions for the United States. Operation Desert Storm was put
into action and tens of thousands of US troops were moved into Saudi Arabia
along with hundreds of aircraft. George Bush took this as a golden
opportunity to assert the world influence of the United States. He
was able to gain allies quickly and get most of the developed nations of
the world to boycott Iraqi oil. After a quick but fierce bombing
attack the war was over within 100 hours. That wasn’t the last we
were to see of Saddam Hussien though. The US still has troops in
the Persian Gulf area. It is amazing to think that countries will
bond together against an enemy and go to war and give their lives and the
lives of their nations youth of money. Is it worth the lives of thousands
of people just to keep oil costs down? It doesn’t seem to be to me.
Does the world need a world police?
John Locke says yes. According to Locke in the state of nature it
is natural for groups of people to come together in their own self-interest,
to form a society. In these societies the surrender some of the personal
rights that they had in the state of nature and delegate them to a single
government. If these people were in the state of nature the might
make social compacts with others. They would feel no obligation to
uphold them if they no longer were of any benefit to them because there
would be no consequences for breaking these social compacts. Without
punitive consequences these people will only honor contracts when it is
convenient for them. Locke also says that social groups will act
the same way in their interactions with other social groups. The
only way to get these groups to honor social compacts is to create laws,
consequences, and a body with the means and authority to enforce them.
The same goes for countries on a much larger scale, because for all intents
and purposes a country is just a large social group. These countries
would act as individuals in the state of nature because there is no world
police or authority to keep countries in line. Locke says that to
get countries to work together and follow laws and honor compacts, there
needs to be a single power or law-enforcing agency that acted as a worldwide
administrator of discipline and law, a world police.
The problem arises when one country or
organization tries to assert power or force on a country when they don’t
have the right to. Locke says that in the state of nature no person
or group of people is bound to any social compact that they did not enter
in to knowingly and voluntarily. This means, according to Locke,
that if there were to be an almighty world police then every country in
the world would have to agree to wave their personal rights in the state
of nature and delegate the authority to enforce laws and consequences to
one individual or organization. It would be virtually impossible
to get every country in the world to enter into such a social compact.
Despite that the world still needs to have some sort of order among countries
or some of Locke’s inconveniences will begin to arise.