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jrpowell's avatar

What was the last war that the United states needed to be involved in?

Asked by jrpowell (40454points) March 10th, 2010

I can only think of WW2? Everything after that seems a bit pointless.

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17 Answers

JeffVader's avatar

I’d say US intervention in the Balkans in the 90’s was pretty necessary… the only pity was that we all got their too late!

filmfann's avatar

Since WWII, I can only say Afganistan.
We need to be there, as much as I hate to support an unpopular war.

maroon's avatar

It’s a matter of definition and what benefits the government is out to get. Like oil from the Middle East etc. Even though the US gets most of its oil from Canada they apparently thought it necessary to invade Iraq. Is Iran next?

noyesa's avatar

@filmfann Well, Afghanistan was a necessary war to start—now it just seems like a grab for control over the Caspian sea.

noyesa's avatar

@maroon It’s possible that a large portion of the world’s remaining oil is locked in Canadian oil sands, but the US, by no means, imports even a significant amount of its oil from Canada. Most of it is domestic, Mexican, or Middle Eastern.

jrpowell's avatar

@filmfann :: I agree about Afghanistan. But that seems like something that would be better suited for intelligence instead of a major military operation. Blowing up everything showed that we have a big dick and want to swing it but it didn’t work out that well.

wundayatta's avatar

What would have happened if we hadn’t joined in the war against Hitler? What if we hadn’t responded to Pearl Harbor? One possibility, I suppose, is that they would have continued to “march” across the oceans to bring the war to the US. That is not certain, though, since you can’t do what-if history and test out your hypotheses. Perhaps, if they had succeeded in keeping us out of the war, we could have remained isolationist; traded with them and gone on without fighting.

I think we can question every war in such a way. I only chose WWII because that is the most outrageous. Everyone assumes that was a “good” war. No one ever questions it. The case is quite compelling for the need for fighting that war. But we can never know what would have happened if we didn’t fight it. Maybe Hitler’s empire would have fallen of it’s own weight in a decade or two, just as the Soviet Union fell.

I think there’s no way to answer this question except with opinions that are pretty much meaningless. This is like asking “which war did you like?” “Which war did you approve of?”

In general, I don’t approve of any war. As I have said many times, war is the failure of diplomacy. This doesn’t mean I don’t approve of having strength. I believe we can learn much from game theory, and, although I don’t know much about it, I think the “tit for tat” theory is pretty effective. Appeasement was bad gaming. Everyone knows that. Europe needed a credible threat against Hitler. Failing that, the US should have thrown their support to Europe much sooner. Had these things happened, then I think there would have been a much greater chance for diplomacy to succeed.

Hindsight, of course, is 20–20. We didn’t know then what we know now. So, even though we could play this what-if game with every violent conflict in history, I’m not sure what purpose it serves. One might as well ask, “under what circumstances could diplomacy have prevented every war that ever occurred?” That question is free for the taking, should anyone want to ask it. I’m not going to.

noyesa's avatar

@grumpyfish That’s what I get for answering questions early…

To be sure, we do not import most of our oil from Canada, it’s just the largest we import from a single country.

davidbetterman's avatar

WWI…If we hadn’t helped start WWII then that one as well.
Since then, all our warring has been at the behest of the armaments manufacturers and the pharmaceutical giants. And possibly an attempt to help lower the population numbers.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@maroon, @noyesa Does this mean we should invade Canada? :-)

JeffVader's avatar

@Dr_Dredd Well…. those crazy Canadians are probably on the cusp of Nukes & other WMD’s. In reality they’ve left the US no alternative.

maroon's avatar

@noyesa Isn’t that what I said?

@Dr_Dredd If Bloc Québécois wins the next election, then by all means :)

noyesa's avatar

@maroon Nope! You said the US gets most of its oil from Canada, which isn’t true.

maroon's avatar

@noyesa Well according to this government website the US gets most of its crude oil from Canada: http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html

noyesa's avatar

@maroon No, according to that table the US imports more oil from Canada than any other country, but it doesn’t get most of its oil from Canada.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Does the Cold War count? Other than that, WW2 probably was the last one I can think of.

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