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U.S. Army Is Not Unprepared at Outbreak of Hostilities

Abstract

The agriculture in Somalia was being destroyed and its people were starving due to lack of food. Stolen food was exchanged with other countries in return of weapons while the people in absence of food died of starvation. It concentrated on amending the country’s infrastructures, re-establishing law and order in the country and helping the people in creating a proper government. UN soldiers replaced a number of US soldiers in Somalia and in 1993 only about a 1000 remained. The UN soldiers and US soldiers started to attack different areas in Mogadishu, destroying many buildings and killing a number of people in Somalia. Iraqi operation had the biggest special operation forces since the great Vietnam War in the last century. A significant number of special operation forces were present in northern Iraq, where they worked alongside the Kurdish fighters to end the reign of Saddam Hussein. In southern Iraq, these special operation forces helped the conventional forces in their work. However, it was to be seen whether the US army was prepared for both the occasions.

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Introduction

It has been said for some time that the US military department is not yet ready in case there is a disastrous assault on the country. Some reports say that they do not even have the proper training or equipment required to handle such situations. Very few army units are completely combat-ready, and are prepared to go into warfare. The army commanders have been criticized as it has been said that they have not properly developed thorough response plans to be used when their homeland is under attack. (Hiro, 2004) It has been argued that the Pentagon should make the National Guards and the Reserves a fundamental part of the US military department. They have been under-funded and over-tasked for a long time and need the resources to train using modern day equipments so that they can carry out serious missions. It has been recommended that the US defense department should utilize USA’s citizen soldiers in order to make a complete operational force, which is fully equipped, trained and very ready to fight for the nation in case of a crisis and as a result help the active troops in the mission. (Baum, 2004) But, the central allegation is that the U.S. Military is Unprepared at the Outbreak of Hostilities. However, a close look at the development would definitely show that the allegation is the result of blowing the issue out of proportion and there should be no reason the US force, or the NCOs, be held responsible. The two operations, Restore Hope/Continue hope and Iraqi Freedom would prove this allegation wrong.

Operation Restore Hope / Continue Hope

In the last century, Somalia has faced poor social and economic conditions among its people and has had to cope with internal fighting. Somalia had not yet had any centralized government after its decolonization and the country was then divided into at the most 16 warring sects. Mohammed Siad Barre became the leader of Somalia in 1969 but was finally overthrown in 1991 after a difficult and long-lasting reign by the United Somalia Congress. Soon this coalition was divided and two groups were formed, one led by Mohammed Farah Aidid, and the second by Ali Mahdi. The agriculture in Somalia was being destroyed and its people were starving due to lack of food. In order to achieve the loyalty from the different leaders, food supplies were used as a major force. Stolen food was exchanged with other countries in return of weapons while the people in absence of food died of starvation. (Robinson, 2004)

In April 1992, a ceasefire was declared among the opposing sects in Somalia and the UN military observers began Operation Provide Relief (UNOSOM – I). UN had to deal with the growing disaster, which became worse due to a total breakdown, all the civil orders in the country. It was meant to offer charitable relief to the people. However, it was unsuccessful as the UN was unable to deliver the food supplies it had promised since they were stolen as soon as they reached Somalia. Another reason why UNOSOM was not effective was because the various warlords of the country were sworn rivals of each other and thus were not flexible in their efforts. The result that was expected of the project was never reached due to lack of participation from the people. President George Bush then suggested that the mission be carried out by the US combat troops and soon almost 25,000 soldiers were sent to Somalia. (Rotberg, 2003) This action was on an urgent basis and the immediate response to the situation alone by the army reflected its ability to cope up with any give situation.

This was Operation Restore Hope and its aim was to protect the trade routes of Somalia in order to send food to the people. Again, in 1993, UN took control of the operation and called it UNOSOM – II. Its new objective was to encourage building of nations in Somalia and disarm its people. It concentrated on amending the country’s infrastructures, re-establishing law and order in the country and helping the people in creating a proper government. Operation Continue Hope acted as a support for UNSOM II, helped to make the surrounding safe for the people, and provided them with intelligence support, a reaction force, communications and other requirements. (Mazarr, 2007)

UN soldiers replaced a number of US soldiers in Somalia and in 1993 only about a 1000 remained. However, due to a commotion later that year in which Aidid ordered to kill almost 24 Pakistani peacekeepers, he became a target for the UN. Aidid was finally arrested. The UN soldiers and US soldiers started to attack different areas in Mogadishu, destroying many buildings and killing a number of people in Somalia. Some journalists and US military personnel were also killed and a number of soldiers were wounded. The Task Force Ranger was then sent there to capture Aidid and was led by General William Garrison. In trying to capture Aidid almost a war had began, killing both soldiers and the people of Somali. It was considered the bloodiest warfare after the Vietnam War. Finally, President Bill Clinton withdrew the US soldiers and the search for Aidid was stopped. US representatives then went to Somali to recommence the negotiation talks with the different leaders in Somalia. (Robinson, 2004) Thus, it seen that the army was on its mission on a high alert mode and the soldiers were up to the mark and only the political fraternity was not prepared for the developments. Thus, the allegation, that the U.S. Military is Unprepared at the Outbreak of Hostilities, holds no truth.

Soon after the end of the Battle of Mogadishu, General Garrison accepted all the responsibilities for the tragic outcome of the mission. Thus, what was started as a simple peacekeeping operation to offer food and other supplies to the people starving in Somalia, ended in a bloody warfare in Mogadishu? By the end of 1994, all the UN soldiers and US soldiers were withdrawn from Somalia and UNOSOM – II ended. However, it should be mentioned that the failure was not a military one but more of an intelligence ramification.

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The NCO (non-commissioned officer) has always played a major role in the history of the Armed forces. They have led the soldiers in various battles and have trained them in times of peace. In the 1990’s, when a drought had taken over the people of Somalia and they were dying of hunger, the NCOs assisted in providing charitable food and various other resources to the people of Somalia. They also helped in various civic projects, like repairing and building new roads, hospitals, orphanages and schools for the people. They also helped improve the life of the people there by providing them with clean dinking water and helped in carrying and distributing the relief supplies among the people. (Rotberg, 2003)

Thus, it can be stated that the incidents took place in a sudden burst and the army or the political authorities were unable to predict this. It can be stated that if anyone or any authority was to be blamed it should be targeted towards intelligence departments and not the army. It is true, that the army did a commendable job given the situation and they should not take any blame for the outcome. Thus, it is obvious that the allegation that U.S. Military is Unprepared at the Outbreak of Hostilities holds little truth.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched with a goal, which was the removal of Saddam Hussein and destroying his ability to use any weapon of annihilation or mass destruction (WMD) and stop them from falling into the hands of the terrorists. Before the Iraqi war these WMD was taken as a major and forthcoming threat for the security of USA and its associate countries. (Baum, 2004) In the first quarter of 2003, US and UK soldiers comprising of over 40 cruise strikes, missiles and various other aircrafts, started to carry out different military operations within the state of Iraq in order to remove weapons located in Iraq. They were also ordered to overthrow the Iraqi regime from its power. Saddam Hussein was given a deadline in order to leave Iraq and when that expired, air raid sirens were initiated all over the city of Baghdad. President Bush announced to the people of US that military operations had began in Iraq in order to disarm it, set its people free and protect the world from the various danger posed on it. (Halberstam, 2002) Thus, it can never be established that the U.S. Military is Unprepared at the Outbreak of Hostilities.

The various objectives of the Operation Iraqi Freedom were to end the dreadful rule of Saddam Hussein. Secondly, to completely discover, separate and finally remove weapons of annihilation from Iraq. Its third objective was to locate arrest and finally chase away the terrorists from Iraq. Its forth objective was to obtain information associated with the various terrorist networks in the country and about the global network providing weapons of annihilation. Its fifth objective was to stop the various sanctions provided and offer charitable support needed by the citizens of Iraq. Its fifth objective was to protect the oil fields and resources in Iraq, which belonged to its people. Its last objective was to develop certain conditions, which would help the formation of a self-representative government in Iraq. (Chan, 2006) All the objectives were fulfilled other than the WMD search as there was none in reality. Thus, again it is proved that the that the U.S. Military is not Unprepared at the Outbreak of Hostilities and in fact they are quite successful in this case.

However, this operation had the biggest special operation forces since the great Vietnam War in the last century. Although the majority of the forces were from the US, Australia and the UK also provided with their forces. A significant number of special operation forces were present in northern Iraq, where they worked alongside the Kurdish fighters to end the reign of Saddam Hussein. These special operation forces attacked a number of areas, as if command headquarters, airfields and places where weapons of annihilation were kept. In southern Iraq, these special operation forces helped the conventional forces in their work. (Chesterman, 2004) All these operations and missions needed high amount of preparation and their successes prove beyond arguments that the amount of preparations present in their action. As it is often said, their action proved for themselves.

However, another major development of this mission is most likely going to be the end of US-Iraqi Status of Forces-like Agreement (SOFA). Its purpose is to launch a legal basis so that US military forces can be present in Iraq after the existing UN authorization ends this year. The restraints, which have been laid down by SOFA will have an effect on the manner in which US military operations are carried on in Iraq. Its short-term objectives are to determine how much help does Iraq require from the US in personal assistance and funds, the best way to assemble on present security issues, help the government in its working and also to promote its independence, continuously modify the formation of the Iraqi Security Forces, help in their training and establish standards so that the number of US troops in Iraq can be lessened. (Mazarr, 2007) This proves the success and effectiveness of the US army’s presence and their preparation for all situations and the major kudos goes to the NCOs present in the peacekeeping and actions.

Its long-term objectives include considering the policies and strategies of Iraq so as to clarify the long term US objectives related to Iraq and help to shape a better and more conventional mutual relationship in the future with Iraq. It also aims towards defining the US policies of Iranian involvement in the country and evaluating the significance of the Operation Iraqi Freedom so that the information gathered from the mission is helpful to the US military in the future and for the US government. Thus, it is well established that the U.S. Military is always prepared at the Outbreak of Hostilities.

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Conclusion

The final element in the entire preparation is standing in the battleground and fighting for the country. This requires a person to be strategically, physically and mentally ready for a combat mission. A good leader is also needed whose job is to organize the various operations related to the combat. The two main reasons due to which the US military is unprepared are lack of proper ammunition and terrible leadership. Lack of proper training coupled up with inadequate and scarce ammunition has created a situation where the soldiers are unable to fight properly and thus eventually loose their life while defending their country.

USA has been in a number of crises and has come out of it very well. Not everything can be planned and we need to keep a positive view for the things happening around us. After the 9/11 attacks, the military and the emergency services did a magnificent task at handling the situation and keeping the environment calm. Civilians are not fully aware of the military logistics and we assume that the military is completely intact and when deployed can make anything possible. However, this is not so as they do not have a magic wand to cure everything unjust in this world. Nevertheless, the bottom-line of this argument holds its position and it should be mentioned again that the U.S. Military is always prepared at the Outbreak of Hostilities and it is well adjustable in any situation to handle any, location, and state of affairs or pressure.

References

  1. Baum, Matthew A; 2004; How Public Opinion Constrains the Use of Force: The Case of Operation Restore Hope; Presidential Studies Quarterly; 34, 2, 187-226; University of California, Los Angeles
  2. Chan, Steve & William Safran; 2006; Public Opinion as a Constraint against War: Democracies’ Responses to Operation Iraqi Freedom; Foreign Policy Analysis; 2, 2, 137-156; University of Colorado
  3. Chesterman, Simon; 2004; Occupation as Liberation: International Humanitarian Law and Regime Change; Ethics & International Affairs; 18, 3, 51-64; Institute for International Law and Justice: New York University School of Law.
  4. Halberstam, David; 2002; War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals; Simon & Schuster
  5. Robinson, Piers; 2004; Operation Restore Hope and the Illusion of a News Media Driven Intervention; Political Studies; 49, 5, 941-956; Political Studies Association; University of Liverpool
  6. Hiro, Dilip; 2004; Secrets and Lies: Operation Iraqi Freedom and After; Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books
  7. Mazarr, Michael J; 2007; The Iraq War and Agenda Setting; Foreign Policy Analysis; 3, 1, 1-23; U.S. National War College
  8. Rotberg, Robert; 2003; State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror; Brookings Institution Press

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "U.S. Army Is Not Unprepared at Outbreak of Hostilities." October 21, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/u-s-army-is-not-unprepared-at-outbreak-of-hostilities/.

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