Korea: Rebirth of Limited War
The Korean War was triggered by the miscalculations of the North Korean Communist military by crossing the 38th Parallel. This army crossed into South Korea without any permission and further invaded the non-Communist South Korea. Since the North Korean Communist military had superior weaponry and expansive personnel, Kim Il-sung’s regimen was able to quickly overrun most of the regions of South Korea (Tucker 2010, 429). The invading army had modern soviet tanks and was able to subdue the South Korean government. However, Kim Il-sung’s army did not factor in the potential impact of a response from South Korean allies such as the United States.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
Within a short time, the US military responded to the invasion with equal military force, and North Korea was not only repelled back but also suffered a humiliating defeat (Tucker 2010, 430). The leadership of North Korean strong military force assumed that nobody would interfere with their military campaign against their neighbor. Moreover, the North Korean army was very confident of completely annihilating their South Korean neighbor. Inspired by the need to expand territory on the assumption that the Soviet Union would come to their aid in the event of external interference, the North Korean military hurriedly crossed the borders and invaded South Korea. Unfortunately, their war plan scenario did not materialize as the US made a successful counter-attack without Soviet Union interference (Tucker 2010, 426).
Vietnam I: Insurgency
The evolution of US military approaches in Vietnam from initial employment through 1967 was characterized by the guerilla warfare applied by the Vietcong. The opponents had mastered the art of guerrilla tactics and were very successful in countering the US forces on the ground (Pike 1984, 103). The Vietcong under the National Liberation Front (NFL) were able to ambush the US patrols by setting many landmines, hidden booby traps, and strategically planted small bombs in towns occupied by their enemy. It was very difficult for the US ground troops to identify the Vietcong in the crowds since they did not wear military attire or anything unique (Pike 1984, 107).
These guerrilla soldiers would mingle with the peasants and the general public and wear ordinary clothes, depending on the nature of their covert operation. Moreover, the Vietcong had similar weapons as the US, sourced from their allies in Russia and China. In addition, the Cu Chi tunnels dug by the Vietcong were an ideal hideout network covering more than 250 kilometers (Pike 1984, 104). It was not easy for the US ground or air troops to effectively engage the Vietcong in warfare. These challenges necessitated the change in the US military strategy to counter the guerilla tactics. At the beginning of the war, the US ground troop aided by limited air surveillance strategy proved to be difficult to implement in Vietnam. Later, the strategy was changed to expanded air surveillance, intelligence gathering, and small covert operations to match the guerrilla tactics of the enemy.
Vietnam II: Vietnamization
Created by President Nixon’s foreign policy experts, Vietnamization aimed at ending the active involvement of the US in the Vietnam War. The strategy intended to create a program for training, arming, and expanding the South Vietnamese military so that they can take over active combat role against the Vietcong (Andrade and Willbanks 2006, 13). At the same time, the policy proposed a steady reduction of US combat troops. Executing Vietnamization as an exit strategy was characterized by many challenges. To begin with, it was difficult to train or equip the non-Communist Southerners since Vietcong had infiltrated their camps (Andrade and Willbanks 2006, 13). Specifically, the interests of the US were different from those of the South Vietnamese, who preferred self-defense to active combat from the attack point.
The implements of the training policy were also in a hurry since there was a limited timeline to achieve. For instance, the implementers had subjected the Southerner forces to extreme training activities that required years to master in months (Andrade and Willbanks 2006, 13). The policy was implemented when the training sessions were undergoing. Sometimes, the US troops would be forced to abandon the military training to provide ground or air support to the combat soldiers. In addition, the South Vietnamese forces were poorly organized and consisted of fewer personnel as compared to the Vietcong (Andrade and Willbanks 2006, 13). As a result, it was difficult for the Vietnamization strategy to transform the Southerners into an effective military group that can counter the better organized Vietcong. In one way or another, the US troops had to be directly involved in active combat.
Rebuilding a Broken Army
The Arab-Israeli War of 1973 shaped the army’s thinking in several ways. To begin with, the victories in October 1973 changed the Arab military’s belief that Israel could not be defeated. In fact, the events of October 1973 proved that Israel is not invincible (Heinl 1971, 34). On the other hand, the war proved to the Israeli military that they can effectively strike back with superiority tactics even when challenged by a nominal surprise attack by the enemy (Heinl 1971, 33). Although it was assumed that the Israeli intelligence agency would be aware of any impending Arab attack at least 48 hours before, the surprised invasion of Israel during its Yom Kippur festival proved that it’s supposed tight security measures could be penetrated by an organized force. Before this attack, there was a widespread perception that Israel could not be attacked or defeated by any other military in the world (Heinl 1971, 35). The Arab military forces were surprised at how it was possible to subdue Israel as was proven by Egyptian troops. At the same time, the Israeli military had their confidence boosted by the war since it confirmed that preparedness even in the face of a surprising attack by combined forces. Before this war, the Israeli soldiers had doubts about their ability to secure Israel in the event of an external attack from the Arab league of military forces.
100% original paper
on any topic
done in as little as
The American Way of War: Operation Desert Storm and Beyond
The international security environment changed in the period between 1989 and 2001 into a more focused and reinforced the military campaign to avoid high fatalities from better-armed enemies. The improved approach to combat was necessitated by past defeat experiences such as the Vietnam War (Ellsworth 1997, 72). The need for a less costly draw, but firepower intense military mode changed combat from simple covert operations to intelligent warfare. For instance, the US military has integrated the armored onslaught to counter the improved combat power when countering an equally strong force.
The change from dazzling maneuvers of the early 1990s to 2001 to frontal assaults was inspired by the need for a short and effective military campaign (Ellsworth 1997, 75). Moreover, the massive technological advancement created a new warfare style aimed at a quick victory at the least possible number of casualties in either of the warring sides. This new approach is hallmarked by maneuver, surprise, flexibility, and speed (Ellsworth 1997, 79). Moreover, it relies on Special Forces, precision firepower, and heavy psychological operations. In addition, the new approach was developed through the seamless integration of land, air, and naval power. This means that the military capability has been expanded beyond actual combat operations common in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Due to the paradigm shift in technology, weaponry and firepower have improved.
Andrade, Dale, and James H. Willbanks. “CORDS/Phoenix: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Vietnam for the Future.” Military Review (2006): 9–23. Scales, Robert H. “Forging a New Army.” In Certain Victory: The US Army in the Gulf War, 6–38.
Ellsworth, Robert F. “American National Security in the Early 21st Century.” In U.S. National Security: Beyond the Cold War, 70-86. Carlisle, PA: US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, 1997.
Heinl, Robert D. Jr. “The Collapse of the Armed Forces.” Armed Forces Journal (1971): 30–38.
Pike, Douglas. “Conduct of the Vietnam War: Strategic Factors, 1965–1968.” In The Second Indochina War: Proceedings of a Symposium Held at Airlie, Virginia, 1984, 99–119. Washington, DC.
Tucker, Spencer. “The Korean War, 1950–53: from maneuver to stalemate.” The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis 22, no. 4 (2010): 421–432 (EBSCO).