United States Military Operations.
October 25, 2002 6:02 PM   Subscribe

United States Military Operations. Quite a few.
posted by four panels (18 comments total)
Wow. This is a great resource. I had forgotten about The War of Jenkins Ear. Thanks four panels.
posted by Hildago at 6:08 PM on October 25, 2002

Isn't it good to know that the U.S. military is making the world safer for you? I am proud and at the same time rather humbled to be a small part of the U.S. military.

(and for anyone who doesn't know my or my MeFi rep, I am being very serious)
posted by davidmsc at 6:39 PM on October 25, 2002

That link to the DoD site is singularly unhelpful, four panels, unless of course you'd like to share your access information with the rest of us MeFiers.
posted by alumshubby at 6:43 PM on October 25, 2002

Thanks davidmsc, it's so easy for some others to spin everything just to MichaelMoorize the point.
posted by HTuttle at 7:36 PM on October 25, 2002

Hey! What about US CIA operations?
posted by troutfishing at 7:42 PM on October 25, 2002

I don't really have time to dig into the FAS/MAN site, but what do you suppose is their point in posting the quote:

The quarrels of "far away countr[ies] between people of whom we know nothing."

Its author was, of course, Neville Chamberlain, on the occasion of his turning his back on the people of Czechoslovakia and abandoning them to Hitler. The consequences of that failure to use force were the horrors of WWII.

So are they quoting Neville in support of US military operations abroad, or are they critical and not know their history? Serious question.
posted by mojohand at 7:50 PM on October 25, 2002

Know your country. Leave the simple dichotomies of right and wrong to 8th grade reading assignmnets, as life is far too complex to impose mere binary assessments.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:10 PM on October 25, 2002

The Global Security.org link was quieting, but seems incomplete. Missing conflicts that I can think of quickly: Venezuela, Ivory Coast, Lebanon/Syria, Israel, Afghanistan, Myanmar, China/Tibet and East Timor (did that end?). This also doesn't mention potential near-future conflicts such as those brewing in Iran or Saudi Arabia.

The world's a mess.

Davidmsc, I'm quite proud of you and everyone serving in our military. It would be a wonderful world if we didn't need you, but quite obviously, we do.
posted by joemaller at 8:12 PM on October 25, 2002

The Jesse Helms, I just want to be sure you fully appreciate the irony in (unintentionally?) paraphrasing Bush's proposed foreign policy in the Second presidential debate from October 2000 (search on 'Somalia'). The problem with history is that it tends to be forgotten in 12-14 months.
But the parties in a protracted civil war almost invariably end by taking more extreme, not to say higher grounds of principle, than they began with. Middle parties and friends of compromise are soon left behind...
--John Stuart Mill
The Contest In America
The piece is a critical discussion of England's discomfort with choosing sides in the American Civil War. It's also the origin of the oft-quoted 'A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for... is a miserable creature' passage. The whole thing, while wordy as all hell, is worth reading. Especially the last few paragraphs.
posted by joemaller at 8:31 PM on October 25, 2002

East Timor conflict is over, and I think China/Tibet is too low intensity for it to make the list (but China/Taiwan/Vietnam is in there, go figure).

And globalsecurity.org's section on Chechnya is excellent if you're looking for some background on those hundreds being held hostage by Chechen terrorists ( the Russian military has just moved in and taken control according to cnn).
posted by bobo123 at 8:32 PM on October 25, 2002

trout: The FAS site covers the CIA, just in a different branch of the tree than its DOD-101 section. Their focus is more on things which concern their membership, many of whom are cogs in Ike's military-industrial complex, rather than simply being a government expose site. MilNet has one {through '86}, the best info is probably from National Security Archive, and I'm sure there are others. Don't you have all this bookmarked?

joe: Clearly they are attempting to quantify wars in certain ways with that chart. Venezuela? Massive opposition, scattered shooting incidents, not much of a war. Ivory Coast? Too new. Lebanon/Syria? Not active (occupation doesn't count). Afghanistan? They count the civil war as ending in 2001. Myanmar? Repressive government, not much opposition. Tibet? Occupation, no violent opposition at present. East Timor? Independent and sovereign under UN supervision nearly 2 years now. I'm not sure whether you're using different criteria, or just not keeping up. ;-)

I like the World Conflict Count by the National Defense Council (which is put together shortly after the start of each year, covering active conflicts in the preceding year). They have a nifty scoring system that presumably gives some indication of what parts of the world are boiling over. (For 2000, Afghanistan scored 100% -- more than any other country had in the several years of the survey. It doesn't precisely correspond to open warfare situations; it may be better to think of it as a scorecard for failed states.

From a mediation institute, there's also a World Conflict Map you can order, or just print from a PDF. I blogged this and some other related stuff this summer. As I blogged, most people have no idea what conflict has been the most deadly -- Congo's ongoing civil war, with at least 3 million deaths over the last several years. (The new President, Joseph Kabila, has been very successful signing agreements with his neighbors to remove occupation forces, although there are still major problems with bandits and proxy guerrillas. He sounds a lot smarter than his dad.) Many may not have even heard of it. With that, and with the (surprise!) US-mediated end-game of the Sudan conflict, Africa is destined to be much quieter than it has been, which is a tremendously hopeful sign.
posted by dhartung at 8:53 PM on October 25, 2002

Something tells me that four panels is going to have some splainin' to do when the DoD notices a whole slew o' hits on that DMDC page.
posted by UrbanFigaro at 10:07 PM on October 25, 2002

...andthey were all fought for oil, right?
posted by Postroad at 9:36 AM on October 26, 2002

Isn't it good to know that the U.S. military is making the world safer for you? I am proud and at the same time rather humbled to be a small part of the U.S. military.

(and for anyone who doesn't know my or my MeFi rep, I am being very serious)
posted by davidmsc at 6:39 PM PST on October 25

Proud to be a fascist cog, eh? Aim high. Be all you can be.
posted by letterneversent at 11:36 AM on October 26, 2002

It beats aiming low. Someone expresses pride in his service and there's always the requisite knee-jerk insults. If you hate the military so much, protest, write your politicians, by all means express your views, but how does personal meanness hold any validity?

We take the oath to support and defend the constitution, including your right to express dissatisfaction, even to the point of wishing harm to American servicemen. I take this oath seriously, but when you devolve to sarcastic ad hominem statements you only show your lack of class.
posted by tetsuo at 2:42 PM on October 26, 2002

We take the oath to support and defend the constitution

I really wish our elected officials would remember this oath. They are sworn to defend the Constitution, but they seem to read it as "defend the flag". The flag is a piece of cloth which was created by a seamstress; we have chosen it as the symbol to represent our nation but it is completely mute on the principles on which our nation was founded. The Constitution is, along with the Declaration of Independence, the true enumeration of what America is and what she is meant to be, and an awful lot of elected officials don't seem to be terribly interested in defending it, oath or no oath.

(And before anyone comes after me for what they might presume to be partisan remarks, note that I have not named any particular elected officials. So if you see anyone in particular in what I'm describing, you're basing it on your own observations, not mine.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:43 PM on October 26, 2002

Most importantly: who the hell comes up with these wacky names? "Determined Effort" sounds like "we're trying really, really hard. But we will fail." while "Shepherd Venture" sounds wussy.
posted by owillis at 1:41 AM on October 27, 2002

So what's on that DOD site (link under "a" in the post), anyway? If you click through it for "Further information" on who's authorized to get into into, it says:

To access this web site you must first be authenticated as an authorized user. Authorized users are: Active Duty Military/Uniformed Services Members, Selected Reserve/Guard Personnel, Retired Military, Direct Hire Appropriated Fund DoD Civilian Employees, non-appropriated fund civilian employees, certain DoD contractors in Hawaii and overseas, and the family members of the above who have been issued DoD ID cards. Foreign military and foreign national employees may also be eligible -- e.g., foreign military personnel assigned to US military academies and US embassies, and foreign nationals who work on US military bases overseas -- and may log in using the Foreign ID number found on their DoD ID card.

This includes about half the world and their grandmothers, it would appear.
posted by beagle at 12:30 PM on October 27, 2002

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