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Translating American Military Power into Political gain

  1. Just for the first part! it needs to be really clear in your opening chapter, EXACTLY what it is you are
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Translating American Military Power into Political gain 2

Translating American Military Power into Political gain

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Translating American Military Power into Political gain 3


The American military power and prowess cannot be understated or overlooked. The
American armed forces comprise one of the most elite and advanced military capability in the
world. American military might gained global recognition in the ear of the cold war, the Iraqi
war (Gulf Wars) and the invasion of Libya a year ago. These are some of the nations and regions
where America stands strong in the face of adversity and socio-political and economic strength.
The strength of the military however has hardly been tested in recent years. To many nations,
America is a fierce foe and a generous friend, hence the choice for the latter rather than the
earlier. No one wants to make enemies with a country that has not only the most advanced
missile system I the world but also the most number of nuclear warheads. The resolve of
America to protect itself by all means was also realized in the bombings of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki where kilotonnes of nuclear arsenal were unleashed on soft targets (Feaver & Gelpi,
The United States stands strong in the resolve to fight aggression. However, the
investment that America safeguards the most is the economic interest of the nation. America
often fights aggressors but wages economic war where necessary as well. Indeed, wars in recent
times have been inherently fueled by economic tensions and unfavorable trade environments.
America has thus been inherently involved in every effort to ease political tensions and
instability that has threatened the economic interest of the superpower. However, economic
warfare is nothing new. There are political decisions to economic problems such as the choice
United Kingdom made to leave the European Union. However, the United States government
takes it upon itself to fight to remain and solve situations rather than break union. This is partly
why the Union of the States has been maintained for centuries (Huddy & Feldman, 2011).
By military means, any nation can achieve social, economic and political stability. These
three spheres of modern civilization are inter-related. Social stability defines a company’s ability
to safeguard democratic processes. This ensures that the rights of the majority are respected but
the voice of the minority is heard as well. Economic principles such as the strength of the dollar
are very important to the United States. The world reserve currency is the United States Dollar.
For this reason, the American economy has to be stable at all times for the sake of the world
economy as well. Political stability is however the most important aspect to the nation. Although
America is politically stable due to the strong representative democracy institutions and the
numerous checks and balances on the representative plenary, political instability of American
allies is a threat to American socio-political and economic stability as well.
The United States military is responsible for any federal decision to use all means to
achieve an end goal. America is protected in her decisions by the veto vote in the United
Nations’ general assembly. The choice of war on countries that threaten world peace is thus often
the duty of the United States of America. The country takes pride in bringing world peace and
order. Currently, American involvement in the Syrian Crisis is immense. From the nuclear deal
with Syria a year ago to the fight against international terror threat by groups such as ISIS and
Al-Qaeda, there is a growing impact of American Army boots on Asian soil. The United States is
very involved in these decisions and makes a lot of impact on the war on terror. America
however made a lot of impact on the war on terror over the last few years. As a result, a lot terror
threats against the United States have been averted (Hetherington & Suhay, 2014).

Translating American Military Power into Political gain 4
Despite the fact that the United States has made progress on the war on terror, there has
been a significant terror threat globally that threatens global peace and stability. The challenge
with terror is that it has advanced beyond common sectarian violence to an affront on humanity
and the encouragement of anarchy. With the growing threat of terror groups on the world, there
has been increasing demand for greater efforts to manage the global terror threat. The American
military has thus been criticized for not doing enough to manage the situation despite the
immeasurable prowess that the military has been known for. The conditioning of American
soldiers, the power in military research and the immense military intelligence the United States
army raise the concern that the American government invests a lot on the military but gains very
little from it. There have been many challenges the American military faces in harnessing
political gain for the nation. The rest of this paper discusses three such impediments (Feaver &
Gelpi, 2011).
Prolonged American involvement in the war on terror
The threat of terror is currently promulgated by the three major terror groups in the
world; the Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL), also refered to as ISIS or Daesh, Al-Qaeda and the
Taliban. Although there are other terror organizations, these three groups have been responsible
for almost all attacks on the United States. The American government has thus been forced to
concentrate their efforts of averting terror and fighting organized terror activities. It is necessary
that America deals with this threat so that the military finds new ways to protect the country and
advance the nation’s involvement in political and economic developments of the global
economy. The war on terror has thus been a major concern for the nation. The United States
government has also been unable to interpret the motivation and impact of terror on the nation,
often terming it as an effort to encourage anarchy, discourage efforts for world stability and
peace or even as attacks on religious freedom and organizations.
The threat of terror on society has been a difficult issue for the American military to
tackle as well. Terror groups have frustrated the efforts made in Iraq, led to the collapse of the
Syrian talks and basically made significant strides towards encouraging anarchy in Asia. The
challenge posed by terror groups has also been realized with the continuous death of American
soldiers that led to the retraction of American forces in Iraq a few years ago. The Obama
administration has been blamed for not sending enough infantry soldiers to Syria but there has
been a general praise on the American tactics as well as they have been in the interest of the
people. The threat of terror has been augmented by the development of new terror groups such as
the Boko Haram and Al-Shabab that have encouraged retrogressive vices such as human
trafficking and piracy on international seas and ‘no-man’ oceans. America has thus been caught
unawares and often coerced to make policy decisions that have not been in the interest of the
American public. All the same, terror has been fought to a great extend thanks to the use of the
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (Hook & Spanier, 2015).
The war on terror may not be entirely an American affair but it is definitely a concern
that the world delegates to the United States of America. The country thus struggles to manage a
global problem using local resources (Elshtain, 2014). The American military is not the largest
and neither is it the most expansive. A lot of American success on the military forefront is based
on the strength of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) that has other militaries
contribute their resources to the war as well. However, the political status of America in the war
of terror is not similar to the same status the nation held thanks to the victories in the major

Translating American Military Power into Political gain 5
world wars, (I & II) that they were accredited for ending and leading to an international peace
treaty (United Nations’ Treaty). It is vital to remember that the United States has as much stake
in the war as any other nation, especially those that suffer from frequent sporadic attacks such as
France, Belgium and Turkey.
Defense policies by the American legislature
The American legislature coins most of the defense policies executed by the American
military. For instance, the threat of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) in the Somali crisis led to a
congress decision to withdraw US troops from Somalia. As a result, the war on Somalia militia
was never won and is still fought today. Despite the military might of the American army and the
immense intelligence of the American forces in the Somali capital, somehow it was not possible
to fight off aggressive Somali terrorists. The Somali situation was an embarrassment to America
but the major issue was the fact that America made the decision as a matter of policy and
congress was in a hurry to find a solution to a problem that had existed for many years. Indeed,
there was a problem with the situation encouraged by the American parliaments. Regardless, the
justification for ‘saving soldiers’ lives’ was welcomed by the American community.
Over the last few years, political differences between the major parties in the nation;
Democrats and Republicans have led to the escalated tension among the two. As a result, few
laws have passed the senate floor. Congress has also realized representative boycotts and other
unpatriotic decisions to serve partisan interests. The effective result has been that American
congress has been unable to pass substantial regulation on foreign policy. This has affected the
military’s preparedness for most of the foreign policy concerns such as the war on terror. The
nation has also suffered the implication of surprise terror attacks without policies to handle
immigration and citizenship; all of which are issues that affect the American military (Guzdial &
Arquilla, 2016).
Little investment in military advancements by foreign armies
In the first and second world wars, there was an imminent battle of superiority among the
world’s armies. New technologies in military warfare were tested and implemented on the
battleground. The formation of the United Nations’ also anticipated that an improvement in
military strength for defense would be realized by all countries. However, few nations have
invested in a substantial development of their military arsenal. Indeed, most of the world’s
nuclear warheads are owned by two countries; the United States and Russia. With there being
little done by American allies, the weakening of the allied forces has encouraged increased terror
attacks and soft targets among civilians. There has also been an imminent sense of anarchy due
to military dissent in some countries. This has destabilized the world economy to some extent
(Badsey, 2016).
While America invests more than 3 trillion dollars of its budgets on defense, most nations
in the United Nations’ organization do not spend half as much. This has weakened the NATO to
a great extent. Many American politicians have called for a renegotiation of the NATO
agreement due to this reason. It is apparent that despite the world continuously becoming
vulnerable to terror threats, little effort has been made to avert the threat. This is the concern in
the United Nations at the moment. Most of the contribution from the member states is not
significant to the war on terror yet these nations face a larger scale of terror attacks than America

Translating American Military Power into Political gain 6
does. It is thus important for the world to invest more in military preparedness, the equipment
and training of soldiers for international collaborative missions as well as the enactment of laws
that commit a significant budget to defense (Andrews, Nelkin, Angwin & Appel, 2015).
Due to the protracted wars in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Pakistan, the United States Army is
losing a lot of soldiers to the war on terror. An immediate and impactful solution needs to be
sought in order to encourage global involvement in these wars. The strength and purpose of the
American military is threatened by the legislations the United States government passes or fails
to pass in support of the military (O’Neil, 2014). This challenge needs a political solution that is
indiscriminate and effective in meeting the needs of the American people and safeguarding the
interests of the national economy. The American people deserve a united government and not
one that is pro-democrat or republican. America thus needs to formulate policies that encourage
international integration and synergies in the process of averting terror. The military is aware of
the role it needs to play in safeguarding the nation. However, where it is always a requirement
that such efforts be consented by the instruments of American power, bureaucratic tendencies do
get in the way.
The United States needs to employ all diplomatic efforts to encourage international
involvement in its wars. The wars in significant terror cell regions such as Afghanistan, Syria
and Iraq do have a bearing on international peace. All nations should thus lend their support
towards ending these wars successfully. Just like the world united on two fronts in the previous
wars, there is need for Unity in the war on terror. Terror is a common enemy that needs to be
addressed without sparing any financial resources. As America continues to be on the forefront
of the war on terror, her problems internally increase. The government’s over-involvement in
diplomatic foreign missions may be interest of world peace but hardly on the American
economy. It is thus important that America finds a way to encourage international synergies
towards bringing an end to organized hate crime. With potential threats from countries such as
North Korea, military preparedness of the world is critical (Schneider, 2014).Such efforts will
prove very instrumental to the nation and to the world. By doing so, the American armed forces
will contribute their role towards political gain and protection of the sovereignty just like they
have done in the past.

Translating American Military Power into Political gain 7


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Badsey, S. (2016). media War and media Management. The Ashgate Research Companion to
Modern Warfare, 401.
Elshtain, J. B. (2014). Just war against terror: The burden of American power in a violent world.
Basic Books.
Feaver, P. D., & Gelpi, C. (2011). Choosing your battles: American civil-military relations and
the use of force. Princeton University Press.
Guzdial, M., & Arquilla, J. (2016). Sampling bias in CS education, and where’s the cyber
strategy?. Communications of the ACM, 59(4), 10-11.
Hetherington, M., & Suhay, E. (2014). Authoritarianism, threat, and Americans’ support for the
war on terror. American Journal of Political Science, 55(3), 546-560.
Hook, S. W., & Spanier, J. (2015). American foreign policy since World War II. Cq Press.
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impact of the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. American Psychologist, 66(6), 455.
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