CIAO DATE: 9/00
U.S. Foreign Policy in the Periphery: A 50-Year Retrospective
Michael J. Sullivan
International Studies Association
41st Annual Convention
Los Angeles, CA
March 14-18, 2000
This paper is part of a larger study entitled Foreign Policy in the Periphery: American Adventurism in the Third World, a book-length project in which are analyzed 30 US political-military interventions into developing countries between the late 1940s and the late 1990sfrom the Truman Doctrine of containing communism in Greece to Clintons "humanitarian" intervention in Kosovo (see Table of Contents on next page (2)).
Six cases are studied during the early years 1945-60 (including Greece, Iran, and Guatemala); 14 cases are investigated during the "extremist" period 1961-76 (including the Congo, Cuba, Cambodia and Chile); and 10 cases during the contemporary era 1981-present (including Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Haiti, and Yugoslavia).
This paper outlines the major thesis of the larger work; viz., that US foreign policy during the Cold War was not primarily about keeping the USSR out of Western Europe, but rather about promoting the global capitalist system on a worldwide stage. Americas motivation of being the worlds economic hegemon preceded the Cold War, and its desire to continue in this role in todays post-Cold War era of globalization makes this thesis of continuing relevance.
Three themesstrategic, economic, ideologicalare introduced in support of this argument, and applied to the 30 case studies. They lead to the conclusion that in many of these interventions the US opposed leftist Third World personalities by supporting more right-wing local clients rather than centrists who were often available. These decisions almost always proved disastrous for the local societies affected, and often even were unfortunate for longer-term American diplomatic interests. Finally, a number of lesser patterns and sub-themesrelating to the methods, personalities, and domestic politics involved in carrying out this foreign policyare also discussed.
1. Thesis, Rationale, Methodology
American foreign policy since 1945 has primarily been driven by the goal of being hegemon of the world capitalist economic system. As protector of global capitalism, the United States has replaced the United Kingdom which played this role for more than a century before World War II. Although the 1947-91 Cold War presented an easy-to-understand threat to this objective, US diplomacy in these years was not primarily about keeping the USSR out of Western Europe (the usual explanation for containment), but rather about projecting its own power, globally. It was not about making the world safe for democracy, but about being the leader of the capitalist world, upholder of the international economic system.
This motivation, which was latent in US policy toward Latin America before the Cold War, has continued on a worldwide stage in the post-Cold War era of globalization. It is for this reason that todays generation of American students can learn from the history to be described here. The 30 US political-military interventions into developing countries between 1945/49 and 1995/99 covered in this work foreshadow likely forms of involvement in the future, especially when aggressive multilateralism and economic instruments of control (like those applied against Iraq and Yugoslavia in the 1990s) fail.
The time frame for this study is roughly the 50-year period from the Truman Doctrine of containing communism in Greece to Clintons "humanitarian" intervention in Kosovo. The special concern of this narrative is with relatively low-level violent interventions (both military and covert), and only secondarily on major wars (like Korea and Vietnam) or more peaceable diplomatic or economic interjections (Blechman and Kaplan, 1978; Blum, 1995; Gilbert and Joris, 1981; Treverton, 1987). The 30 cases chosen for further analysis are drawn from 10 presidencies. Six studies are taken from the early Cold War years 1945-60 (including Greece, Iran, and Guatemala); 14 cases are investigated from the "extremist" period 1961-76 (including the Congo, Cuba, Cambodia and Chile); and 10 cases from the contemporary era 1981-present (including Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Haiti, and Yugoslavia). (See, on previous page, the Table of Contents for Foreign Policy in the Periphery: American Adventurism in the Third World, the larger study upon which this paper is based.)
This work divides the world into five geographic regions on the periphery of the global political arena (Sullivan, 1996: 6-10). (It does not focus upon the heart of the Cold War in central Europe, or its attendant concerns about nuclear weapons.) Two regions are the historic areas of Americas pre-World War II "manifest destiny": the Western Hemisphere and eastern Asia. Eleven casesGuatemala, Cuba, Guyana, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama, and Haitiare drawn from Latin America and the Caribbean, the traditional sphere of US capitalist penetration since 1823. Seven studiesChina, Laos, South Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Australia, East Timorare from east Asia, a continent harder to dominate for obvious geographic and demographic reasons, and the site of the two major wars (Korea and Vietnam) which will not be covered here.
Three other regions will be identified as areas where the United States has in the years since 1945 replaced European imperialism as the dominant power: the Middle East, Africa, and the Mediterranean. Six casesIran, the Fertile Crescent from Egypt to Syria, Kurdistan, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq are drawn from the "Middle Eastern" Islamic world, the first area after World War II from which British-French influence was supplanted. Three studiesCongo, Angola, Somaliaare from Africa, a continent conceded to Europe during the first 30 years after decolonization but where the US has shown greater attention since the end of the Cold War. The final three examplesItaly, Greece, and Yugoslaviaare drawn from southern Europe, countries on the periphery of the continent which forms the core of the global capitalist system.
In addition to these historical and geographic parameters, this study will employ the political science models of the rational actor and bureaucratic politics (Allison, 1971; Halperin, 1974). It will treat the United States as a unitary player on the world stage, reflecting the wishes of two domestic political interest groupsthe capitalist class and ethnic minoritiesand their counterparts in the foreign affairs bureaucracy and in the political arena. Capitalist interests are seen in the desires of corporations for the National Security State imperative of high military ("defense") budgets (Barnet, 1994; Cooling, 1977), even in the absence of any credible threat to the American homeland or, since the end of the Cold War, to the core of the capitalist economic system (Farrell, 1996; Gottlieb, 1996; Kaufman, 1990). Ethnic minority groupssuch as southern and eastern Europeans, Cubans, Jews, and African-Americanswill be shown as used and manipulated by the first group, adding a more volatile element to the rational actor model (Dumbrell, 1997; Hughes, 1978; Said, 1977).
In this paper, lessons and examples from among the 30 interventions will be referred to with the assumption that the reader has some basic knowledge of the events under consideration. For more information, one must read the full work where approximately 5-6 pages (150-180 pages total) are devoted to the details of each case. (See also Appendix A for a 140-to-160 item bibliography of 4-to-6 citations for each of the 30 cases.)
2. Main Themes
The main theme of this paper, and the larger work from it is drawn, is that the primary strategic goal of United States foreign policy since 1945 has been Americas supplanting of the major imperial powers of the pre-World War II eraUnited Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Japanas the economic hegemon of the global capitalist system (McCormick, 1995; Smith, 1981; Tucker and Hendrickson, 1991). This generally meant Americas competing against the Soviet Union over which of the two post-World War II Super Powers would succeed Western Europe and Japan as leader of the Third World of developing nations in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. (This thesis is only marginally applicable to the Western Hemisphere, where the American empire began in the 19th century and is merely consolidated during the period under consideration in this work.)
A corollary to this theme (which relates to political strategy) is another pertaining more specifically to economics. The US objective, in most of the 30 cases to be analyzed, has primarily been to make the world safe not for democracy (as is often claimed, citing President Woodrow Wilson), but rather to make the world safe for capital (Girling, 1980; Kolko, 1988; and Shalom, 1993; versus Muravchik, 1991; Perlmutter, 1999; and Smith, 1994). This is especially true in the periphery of the global capitalist system where there is opportunity for the greatest economic growth and profit, and for demonstrations of the superiority of the system. To this end, US interventions in several of the 30 cases (e.g., the former French Indochina, British Guiana, the ex-Belgian Congo, 1990s Yugoslavia) are not limited to the protection of specific business investments of American corporations, but rather to upholding of the economic system, of the idea of capitalism itself.
In defense of this policy, it is argued that safeguarding capitalism in a developing nation sometimes leads in the long run to democracy (or at least to "electoral" or "procedural" democracy for a relatively small number of indigenous capitalist class collaborators), and to a somewhat improved quality of life (in trickle-down fashion) for some upper-middle class managers and service sector workers there. In the short run, however, economic hegemony by nations of the core over those in the peripherya continuing goal in this current era of globalizationleads to control not only of the weaker states economic systems, but of their politics as well. For many of the states to be studied here, the "political system" which has been tolerated to preserve capitalism has been one of military or monarchical rule, or even prolonged civil war (Chomsky and Herman, 1979; versus Pipes and Garfinkle, 1991).
A third, ideological, theme, related to the first two, is the general refusal by the United States to accept any "third way" in these developing nations, between left-wing "socialist nationalists" and right-wing "unreconstructed fascists" (Feinberg, 1983; Gurtov, 1974; Kwitny, 1984). Transnational corporations, not governments, must organize these Third World economies; alternate models of development are not congenial to global capital. To quote John F. Kennedy in the context of the Caribbean in the early 1960s:
There are three possibilities in descending order of preference: a decent democratic regime, a continuation of the Trujillo regime, or a Castro regime. We ought to aim at the first but we really cant renounce the second until we are sure we can avoid the third. (Schlesinger, 1965: 769.)
Not acceptable under this formula are social-democratic reformers like Mohammed Mossadegh, Jacobo Arbenz, Gamel Adbel Nasser, Ahmed Sukarno, Patrice Lumumba, Cheddi Jagan, Janio da Silva Qadros, Juan Bosch, Salvador Allende, Augustinho Neto, Maurice Bishop, and Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to cite from 12 of the cases covered below. Also not acceptable are mixed economies with some private property respected, or governments sympathetic to labor unions or the poor (in the form of food subsidies or other spending for health and education). Welfare must have a lower priority than repayment of international debt, or spending to restructure the economy or on the physical infrastructure to entice investment from countries of the core. Most unacceptable of all during the Cold War was an independent foreign policy, especially one entailing any form of even-handedness between the United States and the USSR, eastern Europe, or China.
Table 1, on page 8, summarizes these three themesstrategic, economic, and ideological and how they are reflected in each of the 30 cases.
|Table 1 - FPP Cases vs. Main Themes|
|a. Strategic||b.Economic||c. Ideological|
|(replaces...)||(capitalism > democracy)||(no Third Way (econ.,FP) tolerated)|
|1. Italy ’47-8||Germany,UK (even SU,’43)||1-party dominant govt.,’48-93||1970s Euro-communists|
|2. Greece ’47-9||UK||monarchists & fascists supported w/ democrats|
|3. China ’46-58||Europe,Japan||Taiwan 1-party/mil.dictatorship,’49-89|
|4. Iran ’53||UK,Russia||monarchy, ’53-79||Mossadegh|
|5. Guatemala ’54||- - -||mil.dicts.,’54-85; Dulles law firm & UFCo.||Arbenz|
|6. Fertile Crescent ’56-58||UK,France||n.a.=not applicable||Nasser|
|7. Congo ’61-65||Belgium||Mobutu mil.dict.,’65-97: crony capitalism||Lumumba|
|8. Laos ’61-73||France||troika govt.has few democrats||Geneva-imposed coalition|
|9. South Vietnam ’61-65||France||Diem & military dicts. protect (French) capital||Duong Van (Big) Minh; Nhu?|
|10. Indonesia ’65-6||Netherlands||Suharto mil.dict.,’65-98: crony capitalism||Sukarno|
|11. Cuba ’61-2||(defends vs. USSR)||n.a.|
|12. British Guiana ’61-6||UK||minority 1p-dominant govt., ’66-92||Jagan|
|13. Brazil ’64||- - -||military dictatorships, ’65-85||Qadros|
|14. Dominican Repub.’65-6||- - -||crony capitalist Balaguer, 22/30 yrs.||Bosch|
|15. Cambodia ’70||France||n.a.||Sihanouk|
|16. Kurdistan(Iran/Iraq) ’71-5||UK,Russia(see#4)||Iran,Shah > self-determination(democracy)|
|17. Chile ’73||- - -||Pinochet military dictatorship,’73-89||Allende|
|18. Angola ’74-5||Portugal||civil war, ’75-present||Neto|
|19. Australia ’75||UK||elected govt.ousted, but for FP reasons||Whitlam|
|20. East Timor ’75||Portugal||Indonesian colony > self-determinat.(dem.)|
|21. El Salvador ’81-92||- - -||demonstration-elections “democracy”|
|22. Nicaragua ’81-88||- - -||civil war, ’81-88; subvesrsion of ‘84 election||Ortega|
|23. Grenada ’83||UK||n.a.||Bishop|
|24. Libya ’86||Italy,UK; USSR||n.a.|
|25. Afghanistan ’81-89||Russia,UK||n.a. (pre-industrial)|
|26. Panama ’89||- - -||drug thug Noriega tolerated, ’81-89||Torrijos|
|27. Iraq ’91||UK||Kuwait monarchy upheld for Western capital|
|28. Somalia ’92-3||UK,Italy; USSR||n.a. (pre-industrial)|
|29. Haiti ’94||- - -||Aristide’s full term cut for Preval||Aristide|
|30. Yugoslavia ’91-99||USSR||Fascist Tudjman, Bosnian Fed., Serpska Repub.|
|- - - = not applicable(Western Hemisphere)|
Finally, pursuant to these three themes, it can be argued that in many of these interventions, the US opposed leftist Third World personalities by supporting more right-wing local clients rather than centrists who were often available. These decisions nearly always (in two-thirds, or 20 of 30, cases) proved disastrous for the local societies affected, and often (in 11 of 30 cases) even turned out to be unfortunate for longer-term American diplomatic interests as well (Sullivan, 1999).
Table 2, on page 10, summarizes this pattern for all 30 cases. In the first column are identified 11 cases where, it will be argued, the interventions led to long-term losses for American foreign policy: China, Iran, Guatemala, Fertile Crescent, Laos, South Vietnam, Cuba, Cambodia, Chile, Libya, and Somalia. In the second column are listed some of the disasters visited upon the local societies affected by the US interventions in about 23 of the 30 cases (all except Australia, Grenada, Libya, Haiti, Yugoslavia; possibly China and Cuba): from the "mere" loss of democracy in seven cases (Italy, Greece, Iran, Guatemala, Guyana (ex-British Guiana), Brazil, Chile); to the consolidation of authoritarian rule in places with no democratic roots (Congo, Indonesia; possibly China and Cuba); to 20 instances where US intervention either caused, or prolonged and exacerbated, almost 200 years of war involving several million deaths: Greece, Iran, Guatemala, Lebanon, Congo, Laos, South Vietnam, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Kurdistan, Chile, Angola, East Timor, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Panama, Iraq, and Somalia/Rwanda.
|Table 2 - Thesis: Short-Term US FP Gains vs. ........|
|Long Term USFP Loss?||Local Disasters due to US intervention|
|Early Years||(loss of democracy; exacerbated wars)|
|1. Italy ’47-8||1-party-dominant CDP regime, 1948-93|
|2. Greece ’47-9||*1967-74 military dictatorship; 160,000 dead in ’45-49 civil war|
|3. China ’46-49 /58||Yes, US isolation, ’49-’72/79||?Mao CCP dictatorship, ~5 mill.deaths (landlordrs,Great Leap,Cultur.Rev. )?|
|4. Iran ’53||Yes, after 1979 ( to present)||monarch,’53-79; Islamic Fund.rule,’79ff; 1300 in ’53; 20,000 dead in ’78/79|
|5. Guatemala ’54||Yes, encouraged Bay of Pigs||military rule, 1954-84; 1961-96 civil war, 200,000 dead|
|6. Fertile Crescent ’56-58||Yes: ’57-71 Egypt; 1958ff Syria, Iraq||*Deferred Lebanese civil war, 1975-91|
|7. Congo ’61-65||Mobutu, 1965-97 + Kabila,’97ff = 35 yrs.; 100,000 dead in ’61-65 war|
|8. Laos, ’63-73||Yes, esp. after 1975||Most bombed country in history, 1963-73; toll included on next line....|
|9. South Vietnam,’61-65||Yes, ’65-75 war, ’75-95 “loss”||2 million dead in US-Indochina war, 1965-73/75|
|10. Indonesia ’65-6||Suharto dictatorship, 1966-98; 1/2 million dead in ’65-66.|
|11. Cuba ’61-2||Yes, ’61 embarrassment, ’62-89ff isolation||?Castro 1p-communist dictatorship, but better econ.quality of life?|
|12. British Guiana ’61-6||delay of independence, 1962-66; 1-party-minority rule, 1966-92.|
|13. Brazil ’64||military dictatorships, 1965-85 = 20 yrs.|
|14. Dominican Rep.’65-6||Trujillo’s Balaguer for 22 of next 30 yrs.; 3000 dead in ’65|
|15. Cambodia ’70||Yes, still; Japan now the hegemon||dead:150,000 in ’70-75, ~1.8 mil. in ’75-79; 50,000 in ’79-91,’98|
|16. Kurdistan ’71-5 ,’91||?200,000 dead (Source?); Kurds “not missionary work” (Kissinger)|
|17. Chile ’73||Yes, esp. in Lat.Am. public opinion||1973-89 Gen.Pinochet dictatorship; 3000 dead in ’73-74|
|18. Angola, ’74-5||1,000,000 dead in 1975-present civil war|
|19. Australia ’75||NO; perceived as normal change of govt. in parl. system|
|20. East Timor ’75||200,000/600,000 dead in ’75; Indon.colony 1975-99|
|21. El Salvador ’79-92||75,000 dead in ’79-92 civil war ; d’Aubuisson’s ARENA rule since|
|22. Nicaragua ‘81-88||30,000 dead in ’81-88 civil war|
|23. Grenada ’83||NO; “only” 200 deaths; improvement over Coard regime|
|24. Libya ’86||Yes, Pan-Am 103,’88; US still isolated||NO; <40 dead; sanctions, isolation an inconvenience to elites|
|25. Afghanistan ’81-89||1.5-2 mill. dead in ’80-present civil war ; Taliban since ’95|
|26. Panama ’89||2000 locals dead to arrest Noriega (restore “democracy”)|
|27. Iraq ’91||100,000 dead in war + 100,000 children from sanctions since|
|28. Somalia ’92-3||Yes; + failure in precedent for Rwanda,’94||3,000 dead, but civilians fed; + 500,000 dead in Rwanda,1994*|
|29. Haiti ’94||NO; locals about same quality of life, politics as before|
|30. Yugoslavia ’91-99||NO. Too soon to judge: Bosnia partitioned; Kosovo under UN.|
|SUMMARY:||Yes=11; No = 19;|| NO/?= 7 (Australia,Grenada,Libya,Haiti,Yugoslavia; + ?China,Cuba?);
*deferred=3 (Greece, Lebanon,Somalia /Rwanda)
~180 yrs. of war; ~7,700,000 deaths (see Table 5).
3. Other Patterns/Sub-Themes
There are also a number of lesser patterns and sub-themes related to the methods, personalities, and domestic politics involved in the 30 case studies analyzed in this work.
Among the noteworthy methods adopted by the United States are some that were nefarious and others that were more subtle. These are summarized in Table 3, on page 12. Among the former, in the left column, were (i) the use of assassination (see the seven cases involving Lumumba, Castro, Diem, Allende, Qaddaffi, Saddam, and Milosevic) (Nutter, 1999); (ii) the support of actions that under other circumstances would be described as terrorism, but when in the service of US goals were often defended as legitimate second-party responses to violence or even "freedom fighting" (see, e.g., the nine cases involving Miami Cuban exiles, Laos secret army and air force, the Kurdish insurgents in the 1970s and 1990s, the Union for the Total Independence of Angola, the Nicaraguan contras, the mujihadeens in Afghanistan and Iran, anti-Aideed Somali militias, and the Kosovo Liberation Army) (Halperin et al., 1976; Langguth, 1978); and finally (iii) the tolerance of overkill, sometimes to the point of genocide, by some of our surrogates in six instances: Diem in his strategic hamlets, Suharto in 1966, the Shahs SAVAK, Pol Pot (whom the US supported after 1979), and the Governments of El Salvador and Guatemala in their counter-insurgency wars in the early 1980s (Klare and Kornbluh, 1988; Shafer, 1988).
Among the more above-board, though still dubious, tactics (in the right column) were: (i) tampering with the modalities of parliamentary government to subvert popular will (see the three cases of British Guiana, Australia, and Grenada); (ii) playing off the Head of State against the Head of Government in presidential systems (e.g., Lebanon, Iran, the Congo, Cambodia); (iii) selectively invoking the need to uphold the rightful winner of an election (in Italy, 1948, and Panama, 1989), but not when it was inconvenient for the United States (as in Dominican Republic, 1965; Chile, 1973; Australia, 1975; and Nicaragua, 1984); and (iv) the use of military aid (especially to Nationalist China, Greece, South Vietnam, Chile (diverted away from the government to the army), and El Salvador.
Table 3, on page 12, summarizes some of these techniques for the cases cited.
|Table 3 - FPP Cases vs. Patterns: 1. Methods|
|a. Nefarious (invade, coup; i, ii, iii)||b.Subtle (i, ii, iii, iv)|
|(assassination, terrorism, overkill )||(parl.tactics, Hd.State v. Hd.Govt., elections, aid )|
|1. Italy ’47-8||ensure 1948 election winners, losers|
|2. Greece ’47-9||military $ aid: $400 mill./yr. x 3 yrs.|
|3. China ’46-58||airlifts of KMT; KMT-Burma drug link||military $ aid: $2 billion; air lifts into northeast|
|4. Iran ’53||post-’80 terrorist mujahedeen; SAVAK||Hd.St.Shah vs. Hd.Govt.Mossadegh manipulation,1953|
|5. Guatemala ’54||200,000 dead in ’61-86 counter-insurg.(CI)|
|6. Fertile Crescent ’56-58||Lebanon invasion||Lebanon Hd.St. v. Hd. Govt|
|7. Congo ’61-65||Lumumba assassination||Hd.St.Kasavubu v. Hd.Govt.Lumumba|
|8. Laos ’61-73||Kong Le/Meo armies, Air America, drug $||constucting of COalition govts., 1958-62|
|9. South Vietnam ’61-65||Diem assassination; strategic hamlets,CI||military $ aid|
|10. Indonesia ’65-6||Suharto’s 1/2 mill.dead, 1966|
|11. Cuba ’61-2||assassin. attempts; exiles-backed invasion|
|12. British Guiana ’61-6||parl.tactics: shift to Prop.Representation voting|
|13. Brazil ’64||CIA-assisted coup|
|14. Dominican Rep.’65-6||invasion ignore 1962,’65 elections, esp. Bosch|
|15. Cambodia ’70||Pol Pot: 2 mil.dead ’75-9; US UN man in ’80’s||Recognize Hd.Govt.’s coup > Head State in 1970|
|16. Kurdistan ’71-5||Kurds v. Iraq, ‘71-5, 91ff|
|17. Chile ’73||Schneider, Allende assassinations||ignore ’70 pres., & ’72 assy., elections; mil. aid diversion|
|18. Angola, ’74-5||UNITA insurgency, ’75-91ff|
|19. Australia ’75||constitutional coup||parl.tactics;dubious PM dismissal overturns ’73 election|
|20. East Timor ’75||support invasion, genocide|
|21. El Salvador ’81-92||75,000 dead in US supported CI war||military $ aid|
|22. Nicaragua ‘81-88||contra “freedom fighters”, ’81-88||sponsor boycott, ignore results of1984 elections|
|23. Grenada ’83||invasion parl. tactics; retroactive request from GG Scoon|
|24. Libya ’86||Qaddaffi as bomb-target|
|25. Afghanistan ’81-89||Mujahedeen, ’80-89; Stingers|
|26. Panama ’89||invasion “uphold” 1989 election winner Endara|
|27. Iraq ’91||Saddam as bomb-target||cashbook coalition|
|28. Somalia ’92-93||anti-Aideed militias|
|29. Haiti ’94||“immaculate” invasion|
|30. Yugoslavia ’91-99||Milosevic as ’99bomb-target; KLA support|
Among the personalities encountered in these 30 cases, two themes emerge and are summarized on Table 4, on page 14. One is the use of unsavory characters, or "thugs", as junior partners in many of the interventions. These worthies span the spectrum, in the left column, from: (i) former World War II collaborators with German Nazi, Italian Fascist, and Japanese militarist regimes (see the five cases involving Italy, Greece, Iran, Congo, and Indonesia); to (ii) CIA informants and agents who were, or became, among their countries leaders (see the nine examples in Jordan (Fertile Crescent), South Vietnam, Greece, Australia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Panama, and Haiti); to (iii) drug traffickers who are prominent in five instances (China, Laos, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and Panama (Cockburn and St. Clair, 1998; Kwitny, 1987; Marshall, 1991)). These examples are all part of a policy of preferring military regimes and monarchies over democracies, a corollary of the larger thesis involving capitalism and democracy, and a recognition of the unhappy means often needed to ensure the survival of Americas preferred economic system in its peripheral regions (Lafeber, 1999).
A second theme relates to dealings with recalcitrant Third World leaders, or "pests" in Table 4s right column. Some of Americas clients (i) became uppity and had to be taught harsh lessons, presumably as instruction for others, possibly simply out of pique (see the four cases involving Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Raoul Cedras, and, eventually, even Mobutu Sese Seku). Another (ii) technique was to portray disfavored leaders as "crazy," "unstable," "Hitler-like," etc. (see adjectives applied, in 12 cases, to Mossadegh, Suharto, Castro, Qadros, Sihanouk, Allende, Ortega, Qaddafi, Noriega, Saddam, Aideed, and Aristide). Finally (iii), there were the expendables hapless, less-powerful actors who had to be "sacrificed" to larger strategic goals in eight instances (leftist Greeks, Taiwanese, centrist and right-wing Laotians, "sideshow" Cambodians, Kurds in both 1975 and 1991, Timorese, Hekmytyar and other mujaheddin allies in Afghanistan, and probably in the near future, Kosovars.)
|Table 4: FPP Cases vs. Patterns: 2. Personalities|
|a. “Thugs” (i,ii,iii,iv)||b. “Pests” (i,ii,iii, iv)|
|(collabs.,CIAers,druggers,dictators)||(uppities, crazies, traitors, expendables)|
|1. Italy ’47-8||ex-fasc,nazi collabs.; CIA’s 1pdom>dem.|
|2. Greece ’47-9||ex-fasc,nazi collabs.; CIA’s ’67 mil >dem.||leftist Papandreou in ’67|
|3. China ’46-58||Chiang/KMT link to Burmese druggers||Taiwan, despite 1979 Relations Act?|
|4. Iran ’53||son of Fascist collaborator; mon>dem.||“weepy, unstable” Mossadegh|
|5. Guatemala ’54||decline Carter HR aid; mil.>dem.|
|6. Fertile Crescent ’56-58||Jordan’s King Hussein on CIA payroll||Lebanon Muslim rule deferred ‘til 1991 (33 yrs.)|
|7. Congo ’61-65||Mobutu in Belgian Army, w/CIA; mil.>dem.||Mobutu overstaying by ‘80s|
|8. Laos ’61-73||Golden Triangle drug-financed air force||rightist Phoumi Nosavan, monarchist Souvanna Phouma|
|9. South Vietnam ’61-65||CIA’s Lansdale’s choice of Diem; mil.>dem.||“unresponsive” Diem|
|10. Indonesia ’65-6||Suharto Netherlands collab.; mil.>dem.||“libertine, lecherous” Sukarno|
|11. Cuba ’61-2||Miami pro-Battista exiles||“bearded, long-winded” Castro|
|12. British Guiana ’61-6||1party-dominant Forbes Burnham>democracy|
|13. Brazil ’64||mil.dictators>dem.||“unstable” Qadros|
|14. Dominican Rep.’65-6||Trujillo’s Balaguer|
|15. Cambodia ’70||illeg.mil> legit.mon.||“mercurial”l Sihanouk; sideshow state expendable|
|16. Kurdistan ’71-5||see #4; + OPEC stiffer of US consumer||Kurds not missionary work in’75, pre-no-fly-zone ’91|
|17. Chile ’73||mil.>dem.; DINA + regional Operation Condor||“incompetent” Allende|
|18. Angola, ’74-5||terrorist UNITA, racist S.Africa, communist PRCh.||UNITA’s Savimbi, after 1991|
|19. Australia ’75||CIA-linked GG John Kerr’s dubious dismissal||Labor PM Gough Whitlam|
|20. East Timor ’75||military colony > self-determination(democracy)||tiny Timorese|
|21. El Salvador ’81-92||CIA’s/Schoool of America’s d’Aubuisson,ARENA|
|22. Nicaragua ‘81-88||CIA’s Somocista/contra Army, drug-$ subsidized||“dictator-in-designer-glasses” Ortega|
|23. Grenada ’83||OECS’s Eugenia Charles||Coard “even worse” than Bishop; Cuban “brigade”|
|24. Libya ’86||only UK would help; no Spain,France fly-overs||“berobed, terrorist” Qaddaffi|
|25. Afghanistan ’81-89||CIA’s Mujaheddin, Golden Crescent druggers||Hekmytyar, et al. abandoned to Taliban in 1996|
|26. Panama ’89||CIA’s Noriega agent + drugger since 1960s||Noriega two-timing Bush, “drug-lord”|
|27. Iraq ’91||monarchy > civilian rule in Kuwait||Saddam betrayer of ’87-90 ally Bush, “Hitler”|
|28. Somalia ’92-93||disobedient “warlord” Aideed|
|29. Haiti ’94||CIA + junta, FRAPH; mil.>democ.(under Bush)||overstaying Cedras; “defrocked” Aristide; FRAPH’s Constant|
|30. Yugoslavia ’91-99||Tudjman||Kosovars?|
Finally, summarized in Table 5, on page 16, there is the theme of domestic politics. Although the Democratic and Republican parties have had different styles in their diplomacy over the past 55 years, there are significant commonalities. For example, the willingness to employ overwhelming military power to address political problems in the Third World is characteristic of both parties. To cite Bob Dole in the 1976 Vice Presidential candidates debate, the Democrats were definitely the party in power at the time of the major wars in Korea and Vietnam (not to mention World Wars I and II). Yet they can never live up to the rhetoric of the Republicans when it comes to the "loss of China," the "police action" in Korea, or fighting "with one arm tied-behind-the-back" in Vietnam. But the GOP, while big on such talk, has been surprisingly restrained in action during its presidencies, with the exception of Bushs war against Iraq.
In short, both parties are pretty much the same, from the perspective of the Third World recipients of American attention, the targets of our intervention which in this study include 12 under Democratic administrations, and 15 under Republican presidents (with three spanning regimes of both parties). Table 5, on page 16, lists these interjections by political party and then totes up the number of years of disruption of normal politics in the targetted states, and deaths resulting therefrom in each case. A rough estimate yields more than 500 years of disrupted local politics in 27 of the 30 cases (all except Grenada, Panama, and Yugoslavia), spread roughly equally between Democratic and Republican administrations. There were also about 8 million deaths of people in these "peripheral" places, with about 1 million more of them occurring under Democratic than under Republican regimes.
|Table 5: Target Recipients’ Cost of Democratic, Republican Interventions|
|Party||# yrs. politics disrupted||# deaths|
|1. Italy ’47-8||Dem.||1-party-dominant, ’48-93 = 45 yrs.||minimal|
|2. Greece ’47-9||Dem.||military dictatorship, 1967-74 = 7 yrs.||160,000 in ‘45-49|
|3. China ’46-58||Both||Taiw.mil.dict.’49-89 =40 yrs.; in UN,’46-71 = 25 yrs.||(~5 million)|
|4. Iran ’53||GOP||monarch,’53-79 + Isl.Funds.,’79ff = 47 yrs.||20,000 in ‘78/79, 1300 in’ 53|
|5. Guatemala ’54||GOP||mil.dict.,’54-84 = 30 yrs.; civil war,’61-96 = 35 yrs.||200,000|
|6. Crescent/Lebanon ’56-58||GOP||civil war, ’75-91=16 yrs.; no Muslim rule,’58-91 = 33 yrs.||(150,000)|
|7. Congo ’61-65||Dem.||military dictatorships, 1965-present = 35 yrs.||100,000|
|8. Laos, ‘61-73||Dem.||’63-73 neutralization,partition,secret air war = 10 yrs.||part of US-VN war’s 2 mill.|
|9. South Vietnam,’61-65||Dem.||prolonged civil war,1965-75 = 10 yrs.||2,000,000|
|10. Indonesia ’65-6||Dem.||military dictatorship, 1966-98 = 32 yrs.||500,000|
|11. Cuba ’61-2||Dem.||1pcom,’61ff = 39 yrs.; nucl.war scare; frozen diplomacy||270 in ‘61|
|12. British Guiana ’61-6||Dem.||4-yr. indep. delay + 1pdom,1966-92 = 30 yrs.||minimal|
|13. Brazil ’64||Dem.||military dictatorships, 1965-85 = 20 yrs.||minimal|
|14. Dominican Repub. ’65-6||Dem.||Trujillo’s Balaguer, ’66-78,’86-96 = 22 yrs||3,000|
|15. Cambodia ’70||GOP||civil war, 1970-98 = 28 yrs.||2 mill. ( 1/4 pop. )-see Table 2 sub-tots|
|16. Kurdistan(Iran/Iraq) ’71-5, ’91||GOP||insurgency,’71-75,’91 = 5 yrs.||?200,000|
|17. Chile ’73||GOP||military dictatorship, 1973-89 = 16 yrs.||3,000|
|18. Angola, ’74-5||GOP||1975-present = 25 yrs. (entire lifetime)||1,000,000|
|19. Australia ’75||GOP||removal of Labor govt.,’75-87 = ~12 yrs.?||none|
|20. East Timor ’75||GOP||foreign (colonial) rule, 1975-99 = 24 yrs.||200,000 (1/3 pop.)|
|21. El Salvador ’79-92||Both||civil war,1979-92 = 13 yrs.||75,000|
|22. Nicaragua ‘81-88||GOP||civil war, 1981-88 = 7 yrs.||30,000|
|23. Grenada ’83||GOP||n.a. (in fact, “normal” politics restored).||200|
|24. Libya ’86||GOP||sanctions, 1986ff=14 yrs., disrupts elites’ travel||~40, including Qaddaffi daughter|
|25. Afghanistan ’81-89||GOP||civil war, ’80ff = 20 yrs.; “blowback” in 4 Arab states, US?||(1.5-2.0 million)|
|26. Panama ’89||GOP||n.a. (previous election “winner” restored)||2,000|
|27. Iraq ’91||GOP||war,bombs,sanctions,’91ff=9 yrs.||~200,000 (including fm. sanctions)|
|28. Somalia ’92-3||Both||1992-93 = 1yr.||3,000 ( + 500,000 in Rwanda,’94 )|
|29. Haiti ’94||Dem.||1991-94 failure to respond = 3 yrs.||0 (“immaculate” intervention)|
|30. Yugoslavia ’91-99||Dem.||n.a.||200,000 (Bosnia) + 10,000 (Kosovo)|
| 12 D, 15 GOP
|Dems=263 yrs; GOP=254 yrs.|| Dems=4.3 mill., GOP=3.4 mill. = 7.7 m.
(not primarily attributable to US:
The two parties are also similar in responding to the needs of the National Security State, each providing over the years (in the form of largely unquestioned "Defense" Department budgets) ample subsidies to what Eisenhower described as the military-industrial complex. Ever since NSC-68 and the call for tripling of military spending in April, 1950 two months before the Korean War even started the Pentagon budget has remained about the same (adjusted for inflation), with no more than a 10% deviation, regardless of whether the Democrats or Republicans were in power, or whether country was at war (e.g., 1965-73) or without any discernible equal-sized military enemy (1991 to the present) (Gansler, 1980; Kaldor, 1981; Markusen and Yudken, 1992; Walker et al., 1991).
With respect to manipulated minority ethnic groups, the Democrats were the first to activate the southern and eastern European-Americans (especially Italians, Greeks, Czechs, and Poles) during the presidential election of 1948 at the start of the Cold War; many of these (mainly Roman Catholics) moved in to the Republican column as they became more affluent in later years (Au, 1985). The Republicans have had particular appeal to Cuban-Americans (especially after JFKs failure at the Bay of Pigs, 1961), and to partisans of a "free" China (actually, these are more often right-wing ideologues than Asian-Americans) (Bachrach, 1971). The Democrats have been successful in retaining the allegiance of Jews, especially after Trumans recognition of Israel (1948) and Eisenhowers backing of Egypt at Suez (1956) (Glick, 1981; Snetsinger, 1974), and of African-Americans (activated especially during the Congo and Haiti cases) (Miller, 1978; Shepherd, 1971).
A few other sea changes in party support by specific sociological groups would include: youths from elite universities to the Democrats after the invasion of Cambodia (1970) (Casale, 1989); career military officers to the Republicans in the post-Vietnam War era; and a generation of young Americans to the GOP after Reagans 1984 "morning in America" campaign in the wake of the Grenada intervention. See Table 6, on page 18, for a summary of the impact of each of these 30 interventions on domestic politics and specific political groups.
|Table 6: Domestic Politics Impact of Democratic, Republican Interventions|
|Party||Domestic Politics, Ethnic/Other Group Impact|
|1. Italy ’47-8||Dem.||southern & eastern Europeans to Dems.|
|2. Greece ’47-9||Dem.||southern & eastern Europeans to Dems.|
|3. China ’46-58||Both||anti-communists to GOP|
|4. Iran ’53||GOP||1st CIA “success”; not admitted until 1970s|
|5. Guatemala ’54||GOP||2nd CIA “success”; not admitted until 1970s|
|6. Fertile Crescent ’56-58||GOP||Jews to Democrats|
|7. Congo ’61-65||Dem.||African-Americans to Democrats|
|8. Laos, ‘61-73||Dem.||“secret” war, lost amidst Vietnam politics|
|9. South Vietnam,’61-65||Dem.||anti-communists & military to GOP; Dem.Party Coalition destroyed|
|10. Indonesia ’65-6||Dem.||public opinion distracted by Vietnam|
|11. Cuba ’61-2||Dem.||Miami Cubans to GOP|
|12. British Guiana ’61-6||Dem.||None; involvement generally not known|
|13. Brazil ’64||Dem.||None; involvement generally not known|
|14. Dominican Repub. ’65-6||Dem.||Cold War consensus; precedent for Vietnam|
|15. Cambodia ’70||GOP||elite youth to Democrats|
|16. Kurdistan(Iran/Iraq) ’71-5,’91||GOP||noted only by Safire until 1991, then humanitarian|
|17. Chile ’73||GOP||long-term media gain to Democrats|
|18. Angola, ’74-5||GOP||Clark amendment ultimately hurts Democrats|
|19. Australia ’75||GOP||kept successfully secret|
|20. East Timor ’75||GOP||not on public opinion radar screen until 1999|
|21. El Salvador ’79-92||Both||BiPartisan cooperation|
|22. Nicaragua ‘81-88||GOP||RR “obsession” leads to 1986ff embarrassment|
|23. Grenada ’83||GOP||media, generation(?) to RR/GOP|
|24. Libya ’86||GOP||ditto: more RR standing tall.|
|25. Afghanistan ’81-89||GOP||ditto: this + RR DOD budget “ended Cold War”|
|26. Panama ’89||GOP||drugs asBush’s new FP organizing principle|
|27. Iraq ’91||GOP||media + fleeting public opinion boost to GOP|
|28. Somalia ’92-3||Both||humanitarian intervention|
|29. Haiti ’94||Dem.||African-Americans to Democrats|
|30. Yugoslavia ’91-99||Dem.||divided elites|
| Summary: 12 Dem, 15 GOP
In conclusion, as mentioned earlier, one would have to read the full text of Foreign Policy in the Periphery: American Adventurism in the Third World, to get the complete argumentation behind each of these theses and themes. It is hoped that the six tables presented here, summarizing key phrases from the 30 studies of US political-military interventions, will provide enough of a sample of how the cases are used to be at least preliminarily persuasive to the reader of this paper.
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4. Iran, 1953
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5. Guatemala, 1954
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6. Fertile Crescent, 1956-58
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7. Congo, 61-65
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9. South Vietnam,61-65
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12. British Guiana
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14. Dominican Republic
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U.S.Senate. Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activites (Church Committee). 1975 (18 Decdmber). Staff Report on Covert Action in Chile, 1963-1973.
Crocker, Chester. 1992. High Noon in Southern Africa: Making Peace in a Rough Neighborhod New York: W. W. Norton.
Harsch, Tony. 1977. Angola: The Hidden History of Washingtons War. New York: Pathfinder Press.
Marcum, John A. 1978. The Angolan Revolution: vol. 2: 1962-1976) . Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Stockwell, John. 1978. In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story. New York: W. W. Norton.
Wright, George. 1996. The Destruction of a Nation: United States Policy toward Angola since 1975. Sterling, VA: Pluto Press.
Barclay, Glen St. John. 1985. Friends in High Places: The Australian-American Security Relationship since 1945. NY: Oxford U. Pres.
Bell, Roger & Phillip. 1993. Implicated:The USi n Australia. NY: OxfordU. Press, 1993.
Coxsedge, Joan, Ken Coldicutt, and Gerry Harrant. 1982. Rooted in Secrecy: The Clandestine Element in Australian Politics. Balwyn North, Victoria, Australia: Committee for the Abolition of Political Police.
Freney, Denis. 1977. The CIAs Australian Connection. Sydney.
Hall, Richard. 1978. The Secret State. Australia.
20. East Timor
Chamberlain, Michael. 1980, October. East Timor International Conference Report. New York, NY: East Timor Human Rights Committee.
Dunn, James S. 1977 (14 September). East Timor From Portuguese Colonialism to Indonesian Incorporation. Canberra: Parliament of Australia, Legislative Research Service.
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United States. House of Representatives. Committee on International Relations. Subcomittee on International Organizations (Fraser). 1977 (23 March). Human Rights in East Timor and the Question of the Use of US Equipment by the Indonesian Armed Forces.
21. El Salvador
Agee, Philip. 1981. White Paper Whitewash: The CIA and El Salvador. NY: Deep Cover Books.
Arnson, Cynthia. 1982. El Salvador: A Revolution Confronts the US. Washington: Institute for Policy Studies.
Bonner, Raymond. 1984. Weakness and Deceit: US Policy and El Salvador. NY: Times Books.
McClintock, Michael. 1985. The American Connection: State Terror and Popular Resistance London: Zed Books.
LaFeber, Walter. 1983. Inevitable Revolutions: The US i n Cent. Am. Norton, 1983.
Nairn, Allan. 1984. "Behind the Death Squads," The Progressive, May, pp. 1,20-29.
Burns, T. Bradford. 1987. At War with Nicaragua: The Reagan Doctrine & the Politics of Nostalgia. NY: Harper & Row.
Gutman, Roy. 1988. Banana Diplomacy: Making of USFP in Nicaragua 1981-87. NY: Simon & Schuster.
Melrose, Dianna. 1985. Nicaragua: The Threat of a Good Example. NY: Oxfam.
Morley, Morris H. and James Petras. 1987. The Reagan Admininstration and Nicaragua: How Washington Constructs Its Case for Counterrevolution in Central America. NY: Institute for Media Analysis.
Pastor, Robert A. 1994. Condemned to Repetition: The US & Nicaragua. NY: Princeton University Press.
Walker, Thomas W. (ed.) 1987. Reagan vs. the Sandinistas:The Undeclared War on Nicaragua. Boulder: Westview Press.
Dunn, Peter M. and Bruce W. Watson (eds.) 1985. American Intervention in Grenada: The Implications of Operation "Urgent Fury". Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Nardin, Terry and Katheleen D. Pritchard. 1990. Ethics and Intervention: The United States in Grenada, 1983. NY: Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, Case Study #2.
Schoenhals, Kai P. and Richard A. Melanson. 1985. Revolution and Intervention in Grenada. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Searle, Chris. 1983. Grenada: The Struggle against Destabilization. NY: W. W. Norton.
Cooley, John K. 1981. "The Libyan Menace," Foreign Policy, Spring, pp. 75-7.
Haley, Edward P. 1984. Qaddafi and the US since 1969. NY: Praeger Publishers.
Hersh, Seymour. 1987. "Target Qaddafi," New York Times Magazine, 22 February, pp. 22ff.
Anwar, Raja. 1988. The Tragedy of Afghanistan: A Firsthand Account. NY: Verso.
Bonoski, Phillip. 1985. Washingtons Secret War against Afghanistan. NY: International Pubs.
Cogan, Chares G. 1993. "Partners in Time: The CIA and Afghanistan since 1979," World Policy Journal, Summer, pp.76ff.
Lohbeck, Kurt. 1993. Holy War, Unholy Victory: Eyewitness to the CIAs Secret War in Afghanistan. DC: Regnery Gateway.
Vornberg, William. 1987. "Afghan Rebels and Drugs," Covert Action Information Bulletin, No. 28 (Summer), pp. 11-12.
Commission of Inquiry. 1991. The US Invasion of Panama: The Truth behind Operation "Just Cause". Boston: South End Press.
Donnelly, Thomas, Margaret Roth, and Caleb Baker. 1991. Operation Just Cause: The Storming of Panama. New York: Lexington Books.
Kempe, Frederick. 1990. Divorcing the Dictator: Americas Bungled Affair with Noriega. NY: G.P. Putnams Sons.
McConnell, Malcolm. 1991. Just Cause: The Real Story of Americas High-Tech Invasion of Panama. NY: St. Martins Press.
Scranton, Margaret E. 1991. The Noriega Years: US-Panamanian Relations 1981-90. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publisher.
Fox, Thomas C. 1991. Iraq: Military Victory, Moral Defeat. Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward.
Gordon, Michael and Bernard E. Trainor. 1995. The Generals War:The Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.
Graubard, Stephen R. 1992. Mr. Bushs War: Adventures in the Politics of Illusion. NY: Hill and Wang.
Hybel, Alex Roberto. 1993. Power over Rationality: The Bush Administration and the Gulf Crisis. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Smith, Jean Edward. 1992. George Bushs War. NY: Henry Holt.
Bowden, Mark. 1999. Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press.
Coll, Alberto R. 1997. The Problems of Doing Good: Somalia as a Case Study in Humanitarian Intervention. New York: Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, Case #18.
Crocker, Chester. 1995. "The Lessons of Somalia," Foreign Affairs, May/June, p. 7.
Hirsch, John L. and Robert B. Oakley. 1995. Somalia and Operation Restore Hope: Reflections on Peacemaking and Peacekeeping. Washington: US Institute of Peace.
North American Council on Latin America (NACLA) (ed.) 1995. Haiti: Dangerous Crossroads Boston: South End Press.
Perusse, Roland I. 1995. Haitian Democracy Restored. University Press of America for the Inter-American Institute.
Ridgeway, James (ed.) 1994. The Haiti Files: Decoding the Crisis. DC: Essential Books.
Shacochis, Bob. 1998. The Immaculate Invasion. NY: Viking Press.
Stotzky, Irwin P. 1997. Silencing the Guns in Haiti: the Promise of Deliberative Democracy. IL: University of Chicago Press.
Bert, Wayne. 1997. The Reluctant Super Power: US Policy in Bosnia, 1991-95. NY: St. Martins Press.
Chomsky, Noam. 1999. The New Military Humanism: Lessons from Kosovo. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press.
Holbrooke, Richard. 1988. To End A War. NY: Random House, 1998.
Rieff, David. 1995. Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of theWest. NY: Touchstone, 1995.