Tuesday, May 20

Don't Bother To Look

Matt Bai, "The McCain Doctrines." May 18
The problem with these narratives is that neither reflects the context of the time. As two former national security officials in the Clinton administration, Derek Chollet and James Goldgeier, explain compellingly in “America Between the Wars,” a book to be published next month, the period between the cold war and the war on terror — the 90s, roughly speaking — was a decade when foreign-policy thinkers across the ideological spectrum were groping about in darkness, trying to feel out the limits of American power and to balance the twin risks of action and inaction. During that time, the United States bounced from one unforeseen crisis to another, undertaking a military intervention every 18 months, on average — a staggering pace compared with that of the years that came before.

Vietnam 1960-75
Cuba 1961
Laos 1962
Cuba 1962
Iraq 1963
Panama 1964
Indonesia 1965
Dominican Republic 1965-66
Guatemala 1966-67
Cambodia 1969-75
Oman 1970
Laos 1971-73
Wounded Knee, Pine Ridge Reservation 1973
Chile 1973
Angola 1976-92
Iran 1980
Libya 1981
El Salvador 1981-92
Nicaragua 1981-90
Lebanon 1982-84
Grenada 1983-89
Honduras 1983-89
Iran 1984
Libya 1986
Bolivia 1986
Iran 1987-88
Philippines 1989
Panama 1989
Iraq 1990-91
Kuwait 1992
Somalia 1992-94
Yugoslavia 1992-94
Bosnia 1993-
Haiti 1994
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Iraq 1998
Yugoslavia 1999
Macedonia 2001
Afghanistan 2001-
Yemen 2002
Philippines 2002-
Columbia 2003-
Iraq 2003-
Haiti 2004-05
Pakistan 2005-
Somalia 2007

Unless "the years that came before" means specifically the Presidency of Jimmy Carter.


bjkeefe said...

There you go again, Doghouse -- disrupting a superficial narrative with facts.


Anonymous said...

The list is even longer if you include countries whose economies we screwed over via the World Bank and IMF, killing people through poverty and malnutrition and thus sparing ourselves the expense of jet fuel and bombs.

Anonymous said...

Good golly, what a list. There are places on there I'd completely forgotten that we had troops in.

One omission that I noted was Rhodesia. A friend of mine was part of the covert support force that we had in-country from 1972-79, opposing the Chinese-backed terrorist group headed by Robert Mugabe.

Rightwingsnarkle said...

C'mon, stop harshing Matt's mellow.

Anonymous said...

And this list just starts at 1960. Go back to the beginning and include military actions against native Americans, suppression of civil insurrections, and gunboat diplomacy in Latin America and Asia, and there's not a single decade of American history that didn't have some major military action if not outright war.

And the last one that was genuinely defensive against a foriegn power was in freaking 1812.