Defense Policy: When Should the US Military Use Force

One of the times when the US military should use force is when the country is at risk (Mokhiber & Young, 1995). The United States can be said to be at risk when it receives threats of attack from its enemies, for example, threats of terrorist attack, or when it is actually attacked by the enemies. A very good example is the US war in Iraq, which came after terrorist attacks in the US by Muslim extremists based in Iraq. The US military can also use military force when one of its close allies, which it has vital interests in, is exposed to danger (Mokhiber & Young, 1995). This includes countries where the US has close economic as well as diplomatic ties.

The United States can also use military force during war, where the intention of the war is to have one side emerge as a winner (Mokhiber & Young, 1995). Examples of such wars include the First World War and the Second World War. Such wars entail the participation of many countries. In both the WWI and WWII, the US was in the allies’ side, and it used military force as a way of ensuring that the allies’ side emerged victorious in the wars.

The US military can also use force in the pursuit of clearly defined political or military objectives (Mokhiber & Young, 1995). For example, between 1846 and 1848, the US used military force on Mexico (the Mexican-American War) to pursue a political objective, which was to prevent Mexico from claiming some parts of California and Texas as their own. In pursuit of military objectives, the US military can use force to prevent another country from manufacturing or retaining nuclear or biological weapons. A good example is the use of military force in Vietnam and Korea. The objectives were to disarm both countries because they were creating much tension in the world by accumulating nuclear weapons.

Lastly, the US military can use force as a last resort (Mokhiber & Young, 1995). This is when all other means of solving a problem, such as negotiation or diplomacy, prove to be unproductive. For example, if the war against piracy along the East Africa coast fails to be productive even after the use of diplomacy, the US can use military force as a last resort.

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