Since 1989, the United States has embarked on numerous complex contingency operations overseas — especially in Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia — requiring a high degree of coordination between the civilian and military sides of the operations. What has the U.S. government learned and failed to learn from its experience? The author examines the erratic performance of the U.S.
One saw everywhere soldiers and civilians, strolling in pairs, absorbed in earnest talk. They are brothers, maybe, who have come away from the house to be alone with each other, while they talk of family affairs and exchange last charges and promises as to what is to be done if anything happens. Or perhaps they are business partners, and the one who has put the
World War I was truly one of the most tragic events of the
twentieth century. The war began over a terrorist act in
the provinces of the fading Austro-Hungarian Empire and
could have been avoided if Germany, Russia, and France hadn’t
felt compelled to obey secret treaties they had signed years
before. Those secret treaties turned a small conflict into one
that involved every major country in Europe and eventually
many other nations from around the world.
Substance abuse has long been an issue of concern for the U.S. population and for its military in
particular. Dating as far back as the Revolutionary War, Dr. Benjamin Rush detailed the effects of alcohol
on the troops. During the Civil War, addiction to opium prescribed for pain became known as the
“soldier’s disease.” Drug problems in both the military and civilian sectors have intensified throughout
the 20th century as the types and formulations of substances being used have increased.