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ASSIGNMENT: PAPER ON NATIONAL DEFENSE National defense means defending the United States through the use of its military, or the use of the U.S. military to carry out the commitments the U.S. has made to foreign nations or international organizations. One perspective on the use of the U.S. military: Since World War II, well over 100,000 American soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, both men and women, have died fighting wars that had nothing to do with defending the United States or its citizens. Instead, it has been the United States that has fought on behalf of the United Nations or some other international organization, or the United States that has fought in places in which the outcome has had little or nothing to do with our national security. And what have we gained through all these deaths of our men and women, and many hundreds of thousands of foreign civilians who have died? Korea is still divided and a hotspot for more world conflict; Vietnam is communist; Iraq, Afghanistan and some of the really bizarre battle grounds like Somalia and Bosnia are still in chaos. Is a fragile democratic government in such meaningless locales like Panama and Grenada really worth American lives? We need a U.S. government that commits itself to using U.S. military forces only when our nation is truly in jeopardy. Another perspective on the use of the U.S. military: America came out of World War II as the strongest and most prosperous nation on earth. It also emerged as the world leader in promoting democratic principles around the world, including its role as the defender of free enterprise against a huge threat of dictatorial communism spreading throughout the world. With its strength, prosperity, and leadership comes responsibility. Usually that responsibility can be limited to words, assistance, and other non-violent means. But sometimes more than words are necessary. No one likes to lose even one American life to military action. However, because of our commitment to other countries and to democratic principles, the threat of world communism has largely disappeared. Also, scores of nations in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and increasingly in Africa that previously knew only dictatorships are beginning to reap the rewards of emerging democracy. We cannot lose the momentum we have gained by falling back into isolationism. American leadership means the willingness to commit our armed forces when it is necessary for the short-term and long-term international good, which is also good for America and Americans. There are, of course, many positions in between these two positions, and some more extreme. Paper: (1) We will have a class discussion on this issue. You should also take the time to discuss this issue with friends or relatives. You may also choose to research this issue online. Jot down some notes so that you will remember. (2) You may refer to the chart of conflicts in which the United States has been involved since World War II to consider which were “good wars” and which were “bad wars.” You may choose to discuss one or more of these conflicts in your paper. Another resource will be the detailed paper entitled, “U. S. Role in the World: Four Futures.” (4) At home, you will construct a paper that details your views on what are the appropriate uses of the United States military in current times and what are inappropriate uses. This paper and the resources you have been given should give you lots of ideas on this subject to consider in constructing your paper. (5) Because you will be expressing your opinion, there will be no wrong answer. Your paper will be graded on how well you express your opinion and defend it with reasons and examples. (6) A typed paper is the preferred format for your paper. Your paper MUST be typed, and be a length of at least 3 pages double-spaced, and no longer than five pages double-spaced. It will be difficult to adequately answer the assigned question in less space than this. (7) Many of you will take a position that falls somewhere in between the two positions expressed above, or perhaps even more or less for the use of the U. S. military than expressed. In expressing your opinion, your essay should include language that tends to answer some of the following questions: (a) What is the correct situation to consider using the U.S. military? (b) Does that situation apply to countries that are accused of aiding terrorism? Threatening or attacking their neighbors or countries friendly or allied with the United States? Creating weapons of mass destruction? Preventing humanitarian assistance? Protecting drug traffickers? Engaging in genocide? What other situations do you believe American military intervention may be necessary? (c) Using the chart that we made, choose some of the conflicts that the U.S. has fought since World War II and express which were worthwhile and deserving of U.S. military involvement and which were not. Please explain the reason or reasons for your opinion. MAY 1st. st Your final paper will be due for turning in at the beginning of class on MAY 15 . th The absolute deadline for getting any credit for the paper will be MAY 24 . (8) The rough draft of your paper will be due at the beginning of class on A paper submitted after the due date but before the deadline will be scored at 80% of the value of a timely paper (what you would have received as a grade for a timely paper multiplied by 0.8). (9) The paper will be graded for a maximum of 50 points summative assessment.