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Flashcards in US Wars and Decisions Deck (29):
1

1

What Caused the U.S. to enter WWI?

The United States originally wished to remain neutral when World War I broke out in August 1914. However, it insisted on its right as a neutral party to immunity from German submarine attack. The ships carried food and raw materials to Britain. In 1917 the Germans resumed submarine attacks, knowing that it would lead to American entry. However the U.S. had deliberately kept its army small and mobilization took a year. Meanwhile the U.S. sent more supplies and money to Britain and France, and started the first peacetime draft. Economic mobilization was much slower than expected, so the decision was made to send divisions to Europe without their equipment, relying instead on British and French supplies.

2

When did WWI end?

By summer 1918, a million American soldiers, or "doughboys" as they were often called, of the American Expeditionary Force were in Europe under the command of John J. Pershing, with 25,000 more arriving every week. The failure of Germany's spring offensive meant it had exhausted its manpower reserves and were unable to launch attacks or even defend its lines.

3

What was the Polar Bear Expedition?

The involvement of U.S. troops, during the tail end of World War I and the Russian Revolution, in fighting the Bolsheviks in Arkhangelsk, Russia in 1918 and 1919.

4

What were the Neutrality Acts of 1930?

Intended to prevent the U.S. from supporting either side in a war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to support Britain, however, and in 1940 signed the Lend-Lease Act, which permitted an expansion of the "cash and carry" arms trade to develop with the United Kingdom, which controlled the Atlantic sea lanes.

5

What date did WWII start?

September 1st 1939.

6

What caused the US to enter WWII?

US involvement in World War II was initially limited to providing war material and financial support to Britain, the Soviet Union, and the Republic of China. The US entered officially on 8 December 1941 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii the previous day. This attack was followed by attacks on US, Dutch and British possessions across the Pacific. On 11 December, the remaining Axis powers, Germany and Italy, declared war on the US, drawing the US firmly into the war and removing all doubts about the global nature of the conflict.

7

Why did the US bomb Japan?

In the Pacific, the US experienced much success in naval campaigns during 1944, but bloody battles at Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945 led the US to look for a way to end the war with minimal loss of American lives. The U.S. used atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to shock the Japanese leadership, which (combined with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria) quickly caused the surrender of Japan.

8

What was the Cold War?

The continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World - primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies - and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States and its allies. Although the chief military forces never engaged in a major battle with each other, they expressed the conflict through military coalitions, strategic conventional force deployments, extensive aid to states deemed vulnerable, proxy wars, espionage, propaganda, conventional and nuclear arms races, appeals to neutral nations, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race.

9

What was the National Security Act of 1947?

ombined and replaced the former Department of the Navy and War Department with a single cabinet-level Department of Defense. The act also created the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Air Force.

10

What was the Korean War?

A conflict between the United States and its United Nations allies and the communist powers under influence of the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. The principal combatants were North and South Korea. Principal allies of South Korea included the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom. Allies of North Korea included the People's Republic of China, which supplied military forces, and the Soviet Union, which supplied combat advisors and aircraft pilots, as well as arms, for the Chinese and North Korean troops.

11

What was Operation Blue Bat?

In the Lebanon crisis of 1958 that threatened civil war, Operation Blue Bat deployed several hundred Marines to bolster the pro-Western Lebanese government from July 15 to October 25, 1958.

12

What was Operation Power Pack?

April 28, 1965, 400 Marines were landed in Santo Domingo to evacuate the American Embassy and foreign nationals after dissident Dominican armed forces attempted to overthrow the ruling civilian junta. By mid-May, peak strength of 23,850 U.S. soldiers, Marines, and Airmen were in the Dominican Republic and some 38 naval ships were positioned offshore. They evacuated nearly 6,500 men, women, and children of 46 nations, and distributed more than 8 million tons of food.

13

What was the Vietname War?

A Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam, supported by the United States and other anti-communist nations. The Viet Cong, a lightly armed South Vietnamese communist-controlled common front, largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The Vietnam People's Army (North Vietnamese Army) engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery and airstrikes.

14

Did the US win the Vietnam War?

No. The U.S. framed the war as part of its policy of containment of Communism in south Asia, but American forces were frustrated by an inability to engage the enemy in decisive battles, corruption and incompetence in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, and ever increasing protests at home. The Tet Offensive in 1968, although a major military defeat for the NLF with half their forces eliminated, marked the psychological turning point in the war. With President Richard M. Nixon opposed to containment and more interested in achieving détente with both the Soviet Union and China, American policy shifted to "Vietnamization," - providing very large supplies of arms and letting the Vietnamese fight it out themselves. After more than 57,000 dead and many more wounded, American forces withdrew in 1973 with no clear victory, and in 1975 South Vietnam was finally conquered by communist North Vietnam and unified.

15

What was the Tet Offensive?

A military campaign during the Vietnam War that began on January 31, 1968. Regular and irregular forces of the People's Army of Vietnam fought against the forces of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), the United States, and their allies. The purpose of the offensive was to strike military and civilian command and control centers throughout South Vietnam and to spark a general uprising among the population that would then topple the Saigon government, thus ending the war in a single blow. The operations are referred to as the Tet Offensive because they began during the early morning hours of 31 January 1968, Tết Nguyên Đán, the first day of the year on a traditional lunar calendar and the most important Vietnamese holiday.

16

What was Operation Eagle Claw?

During and Iran hostage crisis, Operation Eagle Claw was an attempt to rescue the hostages. It failed because of inappropriate equipment, incomplete and unrealistic planning, and the lack of joint service training. The fiasco led directly to the creation of SOCOM.

17

What was Operation Urgent Fury?

In October, 1983, a violent power struggle threatened American lives in the small Caribbean nation of Grenada. Neighboring nations asked the U.S. to intervene. The invasion was a hurriedly devised grouping of paratroopers, Marines, Rangers, and special operations forces in Operation Urgent Fury. Over a thousand Americans quickly seized the entire island, taking hundreds of military and civilian prisoners, especially Cubans.

18

What was Operation El Dorado Canyon?

Code-named "Operation El Dorado Canyon", comprised the joint United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps air-strikes against Libya on April 15, 1986. The attack was carried out in response to the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing.

19

What was the 1986 Berlin Discotheque Bombing?

Libya was blamed for the bombing after telex messages had been intercepted from Libya to the Libyan East Berlin embassy congratulating them on a job well done.

20

Why did the US invade Panama in 1989?

On December 20, 1989 the United States invaded Panama, mainly from U.S. bases within the then-Canal Zone, to oust dictator and international drug trafficker Manuel Noriega. American forces quickly overwhelmed the Panamanian Defense Forces, Noriega was captured on January 3, 1990 and imprisoned in the U.S. and a new government was installed.

21

What was the Persian Gulf War?

A conflict between Iraq and a coalition force of 34 nations led by the United States. The lead up to the war began with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 which was met with immediate economic sanctions by the United Nations against Iraq. The coalition commenced hostilities in January 1991, resulting in a decisive victory for the U.S. led coalition forces, which drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait with minimal coalition deaths.

22

What was Operation Restore Hope?

US troops participated in a UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia beginning in 1992. By 1993 the US troops were augmented with Rangers and special forces with the aim of capturing warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid, whose forces had massacred peacekeepers from Pakistan. During a raid in downtown Mogadishu, US troops became trapped overnight by a general uprising in the Battle of Mogadishu. 18 American soldiers were killed, and a US television crew filmed graphic images of the body of one soldier being dragged through the streets by an angry mob. Somali guerrillas paid a staggering toll at an estimated 1,000-5,000 total casualties during the conflict. After much public disapproval, American forces were quickly withdrawn by President Bill Clinton. The incident profoundly affected US thinking about peacekeeping and intervention. The book Black Hawk Down was written about the battle, and was the basis for the later movie of the same name.

23

What was Operation Uphold Democracy?

(September 19, 1994 - March 31, 1995) An intervention designed to remove the military regime installed by the 1991 Haitian coup d'état, which overthrew the elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The operation was effectively authorized by the 31 July 1994 United Nations Security Council Resolution 940.

24

What was Operation Joint Endeavour?

During the war in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, the US operated in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the NATO-led multinational implementation force (IFOR) in Operation Joint Endeavour . The USA was one of the NATO member countries who bombed Yugoslavia between March 24 and June 9, 1999 during the Kosovo War and later contributed to the multinational force KFOR.

25

What is the War on Terrorism?

A global effort by the governments of several countries (primarily the United States and its principal allies) to neutralize international terrorist groups (primarily radical Islamist terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda) and ensure that rogue nations no longer support terrorist activities. It has been adopted as a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

26

What was Operation Enduring Freedom?

The invasion of Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan) to depose that country's Taliban government and destroy training camps associated with al-Qaida is understood to have been the opening, and in many ways defining, campaign of the broader War on Terrorism. The emphasis on Special Operations Forces (SOF), political negotiation with autonomous military units, and the use of proxy militaries marked a significant change from prior U.S. military approaches.

27

What was the 2003 invasion of Iraq?

After the lengthy Iraq disarmament crisis culminated with an American demand that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein leave Iraq, which was refused, a coalition led by the United States and the United Kingdom fought the Iraqi army in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Approximately 250,000 United States troops, with support from 45,000 British, 2,000 Australian and 200 Polish combat forces, entered Iraq primarily through their staging area in Kuwait. (Turkey had refused to permit its territory to be used for an invasion from the north.) Coalition forces also supported Iraqi Kurdish militia, estimated to number upwards of 50,000. After approximately three weeks of fighting, Hussein and the Ba'ath Party were forcibly removed.

28

What was Operation Odyssey Dawn?

the U.S. code name for the US part of the international military operation in Libya to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. During the initial period of 19-31 March 2011, which continued afterwards under NATO command as Operation Unified Protector. The initial operation implemented a no-fly zone that was proposed during the 2011 Libyan civil war to prevent government forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi from carrying out air attacks on Anti-Gaddafi forces. On 19 March 2011, several countries prepared to take immediate military action at a summit in Paris. Operations commenced on the same day with a strike by French fighter jets, then U.S. and UK forces conducting strikes from ships and submarines via 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles and air assets bombing Gaddafi forces near Benghazi. The goal of coalition forces has been to impose a no-fly zone and to destroy forces that threaten civilians - in effect this has meant forces loyal to Gaddafi.