USA Armed Force- History, the military history of the United States spans a period of over two centuries.
During those years, the United States evolved from a new nation fighting Great Britain for independence (1775–1783).
USA Armed Force- History
Through the monumental American Civil War (1861–1865) and, after collaborating in triumph during World War II (1941–1945), to the world’s sole remaining superpower from the late 20th century to present.
The Continental Congress in 1775 established the Continental Army, Continental Navy, and Continental Marines and named General George Washington its commander. This newly formed military, along with state militia forces, the French Army and Navy, and the Spanish Navy defeated the British in 1781.
The new Constitution in 1789 made the president the commander in chief, with authority for the Congress to levy taxes, make the laws, and declare war.
A combined conscript and volunteer force, the National Army, was formed by the United States War Department in 1917 to fight in World War I. During World War II, the Army of the United States was formed as a successor to the National Army.
The end of World War II set the stage for the ideological confrontation known as the Cold War. With the outbreak of the Korean War, concerns over the defense of Western Europe led to the establishment of NATO. During the Cold War, American troops and their allies fought communist forces in Korea and Vietnam (see containment).
The 1980s was mostly a decade of reorganization. The Army converted to an all-volunteer force with greater emphasis on training and technology. By 1989, the Cold War was nearing its conclusion. The Army leadership reacted by starting to plan for a reduction in strength.
After Desert Storm, the Army did not see major combat operations for the remainder of the 1990s. After the September 11 attacks, and as part of the War on Terror, U.S. and other NATO forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001, replacing the Taliban government.
The Army took part in the U.S. and allied 2003 invasion of Iraq. U.S. military history begins when the earliest English settlers arrived in a dangerous New World. In response to not only unfriendly Native American tribes but also raiding European rivals, English settlers began developing a civilian militia in each colony in which the militiamen were required to maintain and provide their own weapons (Millett and Maslowski 1984).
Within each colony, civilian authority controlled military matters, thus establishing America’s revered tradition of civilian control of the military. During this time, militia primarily engaged Native Americans in the Pequot War 1637, King Philips War 1675, and the Yamasse War 1715 (Bradford 2003).
Though the colonists fought together with the British during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763), tension between Britain and its colonies soon grew untenable.
Throughout the first several decades of its existence, the United States suffered relatively few combat casualties. That all changed during the Civil War, when the Union and Confederacy lost at least 618,000 men between them—and possibly many more—to bullets and disease.
In fact, it’s believed that more Americans were killed or wounded in one day of fighting at Antietam than in the entire War of 1812, itself the seventh-deadliest conflict in U.S. history. Since the Civil War, only World War II has come close in terms of American deaths, with 405,000.
American Civil Wars
Long-building tensions between the Northern and Southern States over slavery suddenly reached a climax after the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln of the new anti-slavery Republican Party as U.S. President.
Southern states seceded from the U.S. and formed a separate Confederacy. Within the Confederate states, many U.S. forts with garrisons still loyal to the Union were cut off. Fighting started in 1861 when Fort Sumter was fired upon.
The American Civil War caught both sides unprepared. Neither the North’s small standing army nor the South’s scattered state militias were capable of winning a civil war.
Both sides raced to raise armies — larger than any U.S. forces before — first with repeated calls for volunteers, but eventually resorting to unpopular large-scale conscription for the first time in U.S. history
Indian Wars (1865–91)
After the Civil War, population expansion, railroad construction, and the disappearance of the buffalo herds heightened military tensions on the Great Plains.
Several tribes, especially the Sioux and Comanche, fiercely resisted confinement to reservations. The main role of the Army was to keep indigenous peoples on reservations and to end their wars against settlers and each other, William Tecumseh Sherman and Philip Sheridan were in charge.
As settlement sped up across the West after the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, clashes with Native Americans of the Plains and southwest reached a final phase.
Causes Of Life During World War II
The military’s mission was to clear the land of free-roaming Indians and put them onto reservations. The stiff resistance of battle-hardened, well-armed mounted Indian warriors resulted in the Indian Wars.
A famous victory for the Plains Nations was the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876, when Col. George Armstrong Custer and two hundred plus members of the 7th Cavalry were killed by a force consisting of Native Americans from the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho nations. The last significant conflict came in 1891.
Spanish–American War (1898)
The Spanish–American War was a short decisive war marked by quick, overwhelming American victories at sea and on land against Spain.
The Navy was well-prepared and won laurels, even as politicians tried (and failed) to have it redeployed to defend East Coast cities against potential threats from the feeble Spanish fleet.
The Army performed well in combat in Cuba. However, it was too oriented to small posts in the West and not as well-prepared for an overseas conflict.
Global Religious War
It relied on volunteers and state militia units, which faced logistical, training and food problems in the staging areas in Florida.
Korean War (1950–53)
The Korean War was a conflict between the United States and its United Nations allies and the communist powers under influence of the Soviet Union (also a UN member nation) and the People’s Republic of China (which later also gained UN membership).
The principal combatants were North and South Korea. Principal allies of South Korea included the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, although many other nations sent troops under the aegis of the United Nations.
Allies of North Korea included the People’s Republic of China, which supplied military forces, and the Soviet Union, which supplied combat advisers and aircraft pilots, as well as arms, for the Chinese and North Korean troops.
War on Terrorism (2001–present)
The War on Terrorism is a global effort by the governments of several countries (primarily the United States and its principal allies) to neutralize international terrorist groups (primarily Islamic Extremist terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda) and ensure that countries considered by the US and some of its allies to be Rogue Nations no longer support terrorist activities.
It has been adopted primarily as a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Since 2001, terrorist motivated attacks upon service members have occurred in Arkansas and Texas.
The intervention in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan) to depose that country’s Taliban government and destroy training camps associated with al-Qaeda 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 militarizes marked a significant change from prior U.S. military approaches.
In January 2002, the U.S. sent more than 1,200 troops (later raised to 2,000) to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines in combating terrorist groups linked to al-Qaida, such as Abu Sayyaf, under Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines.
Operations have taken place mostly in the Sulu Archipelago, where terrorists and other groups are active. The majority of troops provide logistics. However, there are special forces troops that are training and assisting in combat operations against the terrorist groups.
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 Baath Party were forcibly removed, followed by 9 years of military presence by the United States and the coalition fighting alongside the newly elected Iraqi government against various insurgent groups.
Syrian and Iraqi intervention
With the emergence of ISIL and its capture of large areas of Iraq and Syria, a number of crises resulted that sparked international attention.
ISIL had perpetrated sectarian killings and war crimes in both Iraq and Syria. Gains made in the Iraq war were rolled back as Iraqi army units abandoned their posts. Cities were taken over by the terrorist group which enforced its brand of Sharia law.
The kidnapping and decapitation of numerous Western journalists and aid-workers also garnered interest and outrage among Western powers.
The US intervened with airstrikes in Iraq over ISIL held territories and assets in August, and in September a coalition of US and Middle Eastern powers initiated a bombing campaign in Syria aimed at degrading and destroying ISIL and Al-Nusra-held territory.
As a result of the Libyan Civil War, the United Nations enacted United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which imposed a no-fly zone over Libya, and the protection of civilians from the forces of Muammar Gaddafi.
The United States, along with Britain, France and several other nations, committed a coalition force against Gaddafi’s forces.
On 19 March 2011, the first U.S. action was taken when 114 Tomahawk missiles launched by US and UK warships destroyed shoreline air defenses of the Gaddafi regime.
The U.S. continued to play a major role in Operation Unified Protector, the NATO-directed mission that eventually incorporated all of the military coalition’s actions in the theater.
Throughout the conflict however, the U.S. maintained it was playing a supporting role only and was following the UN mandate to protect civilians, while the real conflict was between Gaddafi’s loyalists and Libyan rebels fighting to depose him.
During the conflict, American drones were also deployed.