U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN WORLD TROUBLE SPOTS
Presented before Quest Club by Paul E. Seybert on April 1, 1977
The title of my presentation is U.S. Involvement in World Trouble Spots. I
was certain this winter that the only trouble spot in the world was right here in Fort
Wayne and that it was all mine. However, after some research, I found that Ford,
Kissinger and now Carter are having a few problems of their own.
I want to acknowledge Professor Gerald L. Houseman, Department of Political
Science, Indiana University at Fort Wayne for his assistance.
This paper will attempt to identify the role of the U.S. in a few of the controversial
issues with an analysis of resource-related foreign policy facts.
Since 1946, the United States has made 19 conspicuous nuclear threats and flexed
its military muscles in more than 215 different incidents - often with notable success -
to obtain foreign policy objectives.
This accounting of the political use of U.S. military might is contained in a
lengthy report by the Brookings Institute under contract to the Pentagon's Advanced
Projects Research Agency.
Researchers Barry M. Belchman and Stephen S. Kaplan detailed 215 incidents
and noted the Kennedy Administration was responsible for the most frequent shows of
force - an average 13.4 times a year.
This compared to an average of five a year under the Truman Administration,
7. 3 during the Eisenhower years, 9.7 under Lyndon Johnson, 5. 1 while Richard Nixon
was in office and 4. 3 under President Ford.
The most serious U.S. nuclear threats came in 1962 when the United States and
Russia squared off over Soviet missiles in Cuba and Moscow back down, and in 1973
when the United States put strategic forces on alert when it believed Russia was preparing to invade Israel during the Yom Kippur war.
Other incidents prompting U.S. nuclear warning signals involved flights of B29
nuclear bombers along West Germany's eastern borders after an American aircraft
was shot down over Yugoslavia in 1946, as well as the delay in withdrawing B47's from
Europe following the Berlin crisis in 1961.
The study noted that the United States alerted a variety of forces, including B52
nuclear bombers, in August 1976, when North Koreans killed two American officers
in the Demilitarized Zone.
The Soviet Union used military force to gain political objectives at least 115 times
during the last three decades, the researchers said.
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