The American Wars of the 20th and 21st century


The American Wars is an extremely complex and controversial topic. The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard. America in Great War, Korean War and Vietnam War.

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The American Wars of the 20th and 21st century

Руководитель Danielle Korngold

Студент Liubich Tanya ИЯ1001С

Krasnoyarsk 2012


  • Introduction
  • §1. The United States Armed Forces
  • §2. The United States Army
  • §3. America in the Great War
  • §4. America in the Second World War
  • §5. Korean War and Vietnam War
  • §6. The Iraq War
  • Conclusion
  • References


"The American Wars of the 20th and 21st century" is an extremely complex and controversial topic. Throughout the 400-year history of the United States, Americans have fought on battlefields both near and far, in clashes both large and small, alone and with allies at their sides. It is impossible to present the history of the United States of America and its relations with other countries without in-depth study of the American Wars - this exactly is the relevance of the chosen research topic. The objectives of this report are to review this topic through its historical background and identify the causes of political, socio-economical and religious contradictions between America and other countries. I have consulted a lot of different resources, which contain detailed information about chosen topic.

§1. The United States Armed Forces

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military. The President is the overall head of the military, and helps form military policy with the United States Department of Defense (DoD), a federal executive department, acting as the principal organ by which military policy is carried out. The DoD is headed by the Secretary of Defense, who is a civilian and Cabinet member. [1] To coordinate military action with diplomacy, the President has an advisory National Security Council headed by a National Security Advisor. Both the President and Secretary of Defense are advised by a seven-member Joint Chiefs of Staff, which includes the head of each of Department of Defense service branches as well as the chief of the National Guard Bureau. Leadership is provided by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [2] The Commandant of the Coast Guard is not a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

All of the branches work together during operations and joint missions, under the Unified Combatant Commands, under the authority of the Secretary of Defense with the exception of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard falls under the administration of the Department of Homeland Security and receives its operational orders from the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard may be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President or Congress during a time of war. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States; the others are the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps.

The history of the United States Armed Forces dates to 1775, even before the Declaration of Independence marked the establishment of the United States. The Continental Army, Continental Navy, and Continental Marines were created in close succession by the Second Continental Congress in order to defend the new nation against the British Empire in the American Revolutionary War.

These forces demobilized in 1784 after the Treaty of Paris ended the War for Independence. The Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784, although the founding of the Army is celebrated as occurring on 14 June 1775. The 1787 adoption of the Constitution gave the Congress the power to "raise and support armies," "provide and maintain a navy," and to "make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces," as well as the power to declare war and gave the President of the United States the responsibility of being the military's commander-in-chief.

Rising tensions at various times with Britain and France and the ensuing Quasi-War and War of 1812 quickened the development of the United States Navy (established 13 October 1775) and the United States Marine Corps (established 10 November 1775). [3] The United States Coast Guard dates its origin to the founding of the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790; that service merged with the United States Life-Saving Service in 1915 to establish the Coast Guard. The United States Air Force was established as an independent service on 18 September 1947; it traces its origin to the formation of the Aeronautical Division, U. S. Signal Corps in 1907 and was part of the U. S. Army before becoming an independent service.

The reserve branches formed a military strategic reserve during the Cold War, to be called into service in case of war. Time Magazine writer Mark Thompson has suggested that with the Global War on Terrorism, the reserves deployed as a single force with the active branches and America no longer has a strategic reserve. [4]

§2. The United States Army

The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U. S.military, and is one of seven U. S. uniformed services. The modern Army has its roots in the Continental Army which was formed on 14 June 1775, before the establishment of the United States, to meet the demands of the American Revolutionary War. [5] The Congress of the Confederation officially created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 after the end of the Revolutionary War to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The Army considers itself to be descended from the Continental Army and thus dates its inception from the origins of that force.

The primary mission of the army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders. The army is headed by the Secretary of the Army, and the top military officer in the department is the Chief of Staff of the Army. The highest ranking army officer is currently the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During fiscal year 2010, the Regular Army reported a strength of 561,979 soldiers; the Army National Guard (ARNG) reported 362,015 and the United States Army Reserve (USAR) reported 205,281 putting the combined component strength total at 1,129,275 soldiers. [6]


The task of organizing the U. S. Army commenced in 1775. In the first one hundred years of its existence, the United States Army was maintained as a small peacetime force to man permanent forts and perform other non-wartime duties such as engineering and construction works. By the twentieth century, the U. S. Army had mobilized the U. S. Volunteers on four separate occasions during each of the major wars of the nineteenth century. Currently, the army is divided into the Regular Army, the Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard. The Army is also divided into major branches such as Air Defense Artillery, Infantry, Aviation, Signal Corps, Corps of Engineers, and Armor. Prior to 1903 members of the National Guard were considered state soldiers unless federalized by the President. Since the Militia Act of 1903 all National Guard soldiers have held dual status: as National Guardsmen under the authority of the governor of their state and as a reserve of the U. S. Army under the authority of the President.

Various state defense forces also exist, sometimes known as state militias, which are sponsored by individual state governments and serve as an auxiliary to the National Guard. State militias are not part of the U. S. Army and are state government agencies rather than a component of the military.

Although the present-day Army exists as an all volunteer force, augmented by Reserve and National Guard forces, measures exist for emergency expansion in the event of a catastrophic occurrence, such as a large scale attack against the U. S. or the outbreak of a major global war.

The final stage of army mobilization, known as "activation of the unorganized militia" would effectively place all able bodied men in the service of the U. S. Army

§3. America in the Great War

The United States was unprepared for its entrance into the First World War. In April 1917, the American Army numbered only 300,000 including all the National Guar...