Struggles involving civil wars and violence far outnumber those dealing with external aggression and conflict, especially in today’s society. These internal conflicts over identity, territory, and government are more difficult to resolve through peaceful negotiation, creating an augmented sense of collective responsibility to acknowledge. If handled incorrectly, the situation may worsen, causing tension and (possibly) execution. The use of third parties (military intervention) in civil conflict often creates national distress, reeking havoc and tremendous costs upon assisting nations.
One cost of military intervention is a rise in anti-American sentiment, freshly evident in Somalia. When United States Marines made their landing in Mogadishu eight years ago, the Somalis greeted them with acclaim. One year later, eighteen Americans died at the hands of the Somalis. Hatred of the United States was apparent, particularly in the published photo of content Somalis dragging an American corpse through the streets (Kressel 187). The gruesome scene triggered the U.S. to withdraw troops. Despite the apparent goodwill at the beginning of the assignment, American engagement was widely resented once they became part of the war. The intervention had created a threat to U.S. interests where there had previously been none.
Comparable ill will greeted United States soldiers when they attempted to land in Haiti in 1994. Based on preceding attempts to influence Haiti's domestic affairs, such as withholding of financial aid in crude attempts to influence Haiti's domestic affairs, the U.S. should have expected Haitian resistance (Kressel 122). Faced with violent opposition to the American presence, t...
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...n-fisted enforcement or long-term pursuit to maintain peace. Furthermore, the absence of American involvement will relieve regional leaders of the shame associated with American “puppets” and alleviate the fears of foreign populations concerned about American hegemonic designs. U.S. intervention would wipe out all of those advantages (Snyder 203).
The United States should avoid third party intervention except in cases in which there is a direct threat to national security or American vital interests. No matter how apparently appealing the foundation, third party intervention in civil conflicts generally does not work and often creates threats to U.S. security where none previously existed. In this era of multiplying regional wars, the United States must resist the urge to intervene. To do otherwise is to invite further tragedy, increasing the misery of America.
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