The Modern American War : A Normative Critique

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This is a timeline of United States government military operations. The list through 1775 is based on Committee on International Relations . Dates show the years in which U.S. government military units participated. Items in bold are the U.S. government wars most often considered to be major conflicts by historians and the general public. Note that instances where the U.S. government gave aid alone, with no military personnel involvement, are excluded, as are Central Intelligence Agency operations.
Extraterritorial and major domestic deployments
Portions of this list are from the Congressional Research Service report RL30172.
1775–1799
1775–83 – American Revolutionary War: an armed struggle for secession from the British Empire by the Thirteen Colonies that would subsequently become the United States.
1776–77 – Second Cherokee War: a series of armed conflicts when the Cherokee fought to prevent the encroachment of American settlers into eastern Tennessee and eastern Kentucky; under British rule, this land had been preserved as native territory.
1776–94 – Cherokee–American wars: a continuation of the Second Cherokee War that included a larger number of native tribes attempt to halt the expansion of settlers into Kentucky and Tennessee
1785–95 – Northwest Indian War: a series of battles with various native tribes in present-day Ohio. The goal of the campaign was to affirm American sovereignty over the region and to create increased opportunities for settlement.
1786–87 – Shays’ Rebellion: a Western Massachusetts debtor’s revolt over a credit squeeze that had financially devastated many farmers. The federal government was fiscally unable to raise an army to assist the state militia in combating the uprising; the weakness of the national government bolstered the arguments in favor of replacing the Articles of Confederation with an updated governmental framework.
1791–94 – Whiskey Rebellion: a series of protests against the institution of a federal tax on the distillation of spirits as a revenue source for repaying the nation’s war bonds. The revolt was centered upon southwestern Pennsylvania, although violence occurred throughout the Trans-Appalachian region.
1798–1800 – Quasi-War: an undeclared naval war with France over American default on its war debt. An additional mitigating factor was the continuation of American trade with Britain, with whom their former French allies were at war. This contest included land actions, such as that in the Dominican Republic city of Puerto Plata, where U.S. Marines captured a French vessel under the guns of the forts. Congress authorized military action through a series of statutes. In October and November, landing parties hunted pirates on the Mediterranean islands of Argentiere, Myconos, and Andros.
1830–1839
1831–32 – Falkland Islands: Captain Silas Duncan of the attacked, looted and burned the Argentine town of Puerto Soledad in Malvinas islands. This was in response to the capture of three American sailing vessels which were detained after ignoring orders to stop depredation of local fishing resources without permission from the Argentine government. Subsequently the islands were invaded by the UK in 1833 remaining to this day.
1832 – Attack on Quallah Battoo: Sumatra, Indonesia – February 6 to 9, U.S. forces under Commodore John Downes aboard the frigate landed and stormed a fort to punish natives of the town of Quallah Battoo for plundering the American cargo ship Friendship.
1833 – Argentina: October 31 to November 15, A force was sent ashore at Buenos Aires to protect the interests of the United States and other countries during an insurrection.
1835–36 – Peru: December 10, 1835 to January 24, 1836 and August 31 to December 7, 1836, Marines protected American interests in Callao and Lima during an attempted revolution.
1835–42 – Florida Territory: United States Navy supports the Army’s efforts at quelling uprisings and attacks on civilians by Seminole Indians. Government’s efforts to relocate the Seminoles to west of the Mississippi are hindered by 7 years of war.
1838 – The Caroline affair on Navy Island, Canada: After the failure of the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837 favoring Canadian democracy and independence from the British Empire; William Lyon Mackenzie and his rebels fled to Navy Island where they declared the Republic of Canada. American sympathizers sent supplies on the SS Caroline, which was intercepted by the British and set ablaze, after killing one American. It was falsely reported that dozens of Americans were killed as they were trapped on board, and American forces retaliated by burning a British steamer while it was in U.S. waters.
1838–39 – Sumatra : December 24, 1838 to January 4, 1839, A naval force landed to punish natives of the towns of Quallah Battoo and Muckie for depredations on American shipping.
1840–1849
1840 – Fiji Islands: In July, naval forces landed to punish natives for attacking American exploring and surveying parties.
1841 – McKean Island, Gilbert Islands, Pacific Ocean: A naval party landed to avenge the murder of a seaman by the natives.
1841 – Samoa: On February 24, a naval party landed and burned towns after the murder of an American seaman on Upolu.
1842 – Mexico: Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones, in command of a squadron long cruising off California, occupied Monterey, California, on October 19, believing war had come. He discovered peace, withdrew, and saluted. A similar incident occurred a week later at San Diego.
1843 – China: Sailors and marines from the St. Louis were landed after a clash between Americans and Chinese at the trading post in Canton.
1843 – Africa: From November 29 to December 16, four United States vessels demonstrated and landed various parties to discourage piracy and the slave trade along the Ivory Coast, and to punish attacks by the natives on American seamen and shipping.
1844 – Mexico: President Tyler deployed U.S. forces to protect Texas against Mexico, pending Senate approval of a treaty of annexation . He defended his action against a Senate resolution of inquiry.
1846–48 – Mexican–American War: On May 13, 1846, the United States recognized the existence of a state of war with Mexico. After the annexation of Texas in 1845, the United States and Mexico failed to resolve a boundary dispute and President Polk said that it was necessary to deploy forces in Mexico to meet a threatened invasion.
The war ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed on February 2, 1848. The treaty gave the U.S. undisputed control of Texas, established the U.S.–Mexican border of the Rio Grande, and ceded to the United States the present-day states of California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming. In return, Mexico received — less than half the amount the U.S. had attempted to offer Mexico for the land before the opening of hostilities.
1849 – Smyrna : In July, a naval force gained release of an American seized by Austrian officials.
1850–1859
1851 – Ottoman Empire: After a massacre of foreigners at Jaffa in January, a demonstration by the Mediterranean Squadron was ordered along the Turkish coast.
1851 – Johanna Island : In August, forces from the U.S. sloop-of-war Dale exacted redress for the unlawful imprisonment of the captain of an American whaling brig.
1852–53 – Argentina: February 3 to 12, 1852; September 17, 1852 to April 1853: Marines were landed and maintained in Buenos Aires to protect American interests during a revolution.
1853 – Nicaragua: March 11 to 13, US forces landed to protect American lives and interests during political disturbances.
1853–54 – Japan: Commodore Matthew Perry and his expedition made a display of force leading to the “opening of Japan”.
1853–54 – Ryūkyū and Bonin Islands : Commodore Matthew Perry on three visits before going to Japan and while waiting for a reply from Japan made a naval demonstration, landing marines twice, and secured a coaling concession from the ruler of Naha on Okinawa; he also demonstrated in the Bonin Islands with the purpose of securing facilities for commerce.
1854 – China: April 4 to June 17, American and English ships landed forces to protect American interests in and near Shanghai during Chinese civil strife.
1854 – Nicaragua: On July 9–15, naval forces bombarded and burned San Juan del Norte to avenge an insult to the American Minister to Nicaragua.
1855 – China: On May 19–21, U.S. forces protected American interests in Shanghai and, from August 3 to 5 fought pirates near Hong Kong.
1855 – Fiji Islands: From September 12 to November 4, an American naval force landed to seek reparations for attacks on American residents and seamen.
1855 – Uruguay: On November 25–29, United States and European naval forces landed to protect American interests during an attempted revolution in Montevideo.
1856 – Panama, Republic of New Grenada: On September 19–22, U.S. forces landed to protect American interests during an insurrection.
1856 – China: From October 22 to December 6, U.S. forces landed to protect American interests at Canton during hostilities between the British and the Chinese, and to avenge an assault upon an unarmed boat displaying the United States flag.
1857–58 – Utah War: The Utah War was a dispute between Mormon settlers in Utah Territory and the United States federal government. The Mormons and Washington each sought control over the government of the territory, with the national government victorious. The confrontation between the Mormon militia and the U.S. Army involved some destruction of property, but no actual battles between the contending military forces.
1857 – Nicaragua: April to May, November to December. In May, Commander Charles Henry Davis of the United States Navy, with some marines, received the surrender of William Walker, self-proclaimed president of Nicaragua, who was losing control of the country to forces financed by his former business partner, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and protected his men from the retaliation of native allies who had been fighting Walker. In November and December of the same year United States vessels,, and Fulton opposed another attempt of William Walker on Nicaragua. Commodore Hiram Paulding’s act of landing marines and compelling the removal of Walker to the United States, was tacitly disavowed by Secretary of State Lewis Cass, and Paulding was forced into retirement.
1858 – Uruguay: From January 2 to 27, forces from two United States warships landed to protect American property during a revolution in Montevideo.
1858 – Fiji Islands: From October 6 to 16, a marine expedition with the killed 14 natives and burned 115 huts in retaliation for the murder of two American citizens at Waya.
1858–59 – Ottoman Empire: The Secretary of State requested a display of naval force along the Levant after a massacre of Americans at Jaffa and mistreatment elsewhere “to remind the authorities of the power of the United States.”
1859 – Paraguay: Congress authorized a naval squadron to seek redress for an attack on a naval vessel in the Paraná River during 1855. Apologies were made after a large display of force.
1859 – Mexico: Two hundred United States soldiers crossed the Rio Grande in pursuit of the Mexican nationalist Juan Cortina.
1859 – China: From July 31 to August 2, a naval force landed to protect American interests in Shanghai.
1860–1869
1860 – Angola, Portuguese West Africa: On March 1, American residents at Kissembo called upon American and British ships to protect lives and property during problems with natives.
1860 – Colombia, Bay of Panama: From September 27 to October 8, naval forces landed to protect American interests during a revolution.
1861–65 – American Civil War: A major war between the United States and eleven Southern states which declared that they had a right to secession and formed the Confederate States of America.
1863 – Japan: July 16, Naval battle of Shimonoseki: The retaliated against a firing on the American vessel Pembroke at Shimonoseki.
1864 – Japan: From July 14 to August 3, naval forces protected the United States Minister to Japan when he visited Yedo to negotiate concerning some American claims against Japan, and to make his negotiations easier by impressing the Japanese with American power.
1864 – Japan: From September 4 to 14, naval forces of the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands compelled Japan and the Prince of Nagato in particular to permit the Straits of Shimonoseki to be used by foreign shipping in accordance with treaties already signed.
1865 – Panama: On March 9 and 10, US forces protected the lives and property of American residents during a revolution.
1865–77 – Southern United States – Reconstruction following the American Civil War: The South is divided into five Union occupation districts under the Reconstruction Act.
1866 – Mexico: To protect American residents, General Sedgwick and 100 men in November obtained surrender of Matamoros, on the border state of Tamaulipas. After three days he was ordered by US Government to withdraw. His act was repudiated by the President.
1866 – China: From June 20 to July 7, US forces punished an assault on the American consul at Newchwang.
1867 – Nicaragua: Marines occupied Managua and Leon.
1867 – Formosa : On June 13, a naval force landed and burned a number of huts to punish the murder of the crew of a wrecked American vessel.
1868 – Japan : February 4 to 8, April 4 to May 12, June 12 and 13. US forces were landed to protect American interests during a civil war in Japan.
1868 – Uruguay: On February 7–8, and 19–26, US forces protected foreign residents and the customhouse during an insurrection at Montevideo.
1868 – Colombia: In April, US forces protected passengers and treasure in transit at Aspinwall during the absence of local police or troops on the occasion of the death of the President of Colombia.
1870–1879
1870 – Battle of Boca Teacapan: On June 17 and 18, US forces destroyed the pirate ship Forward, which had been run aground about 40 miles up the Teacapan Estuary in Mexico.
1870 – Kingdom of Hawaii: On September 21, US forces placed the American flag at half-mast upon the death of Queen Kalama, when the American consul at Honolulu would not assume responsibility for so doing.
1872 – Korea: Shinmiyangyo – June 10 to 12, A US naval force attacked and captured five forts to force stalled negotiations on trade agreements and to punish natives for depredations on Americans, particularly for executing the crew of the General Sherman and burning the schooner, and for later firing on other American small boats taking soundings up the Salee River.
1873 – Colombia : May 7 to 22, September 23 to October 9. U.S. forces protected American interests during hostilities between local groups over control of the government of the State of Panama.
1873–96 – Mexico: United States troops crossed the Mexican border repeatedly in pursuit of cattle thieves and other brigands.
1874 – Honolulu Courthouse Riot: From February 12 to 20, detachments from American vessels were landed to protect the interests of Americans living in the Kingdom of Hawaii during the coronation of a new king.
1876 – Mexico: On May 18, an American force was landed to police the town of Matamoros, Mexico, temporarily while it was without other government.
1878 – Lincoln County, New Mexico: On July 15–19, during the Battle of Lincoln 150 cavalry-men arrived from Fort Stanton, under the command of Lieutenant George Smith to assist the Murphy-Dolan Faction in attacking the Lincoln County Regulators vigilante group. 5 dead, 8–28 wounded.
1880–1889
1882 – Egyptian Expedition: July 14 to 18, American forces landed to protect American interests during warfare between British and Egyptians and looting of the city of Alexandria by Arabs.
1885 – Panama : January 18 and 19, US forces were used to guard the valuables in transit over the Panama Railroad, and the safes and vaults of the company during revolutionary activity. In March, April, and May in the cities of Colón and Panama, the forces helped reestablish freedom of transit during revolutionary activity .
1888 – Korea: June, A naval force was sent ashore to protect American residents in Seoul during unsettled political conditions, when an outbreak of the populace was expected.
1888 – Haiti: December 20, A display of force persuaded the Haitian Government to give up an American steamer which had been seized on the charge of breach of blockade.
1888–89 – Samoan crisis; First Samoan Civil War; Second Samoan Civil War: November 14, 1888 to March 20, 1889, US forces were landed to protect American citizens and the consulate during a native civil war.
1889 – Kingdom of Hawaii: July 30 and 31, US forces at Honolulu protected the interests of Americans living in Hawaii during an American led revolution.
1890–1899
1890 – Argentina: A naval party landed to protect US consulate and legation in Buenos Aires.
1890 – South Dakota: December 29, Soldiers of the US Army 7th Cavalry killed 178 Sioux Amerindians following an incident over a disarmament-inspection at a Lakota Sioux encampment near Wounded Knee Creek. 89 other Amerinds were injured, 150 were reported missing; Army casualties were 25 killed, 39 wounded.
1891 – Haiti: US forces sought to protect American lives and property on Navassa Island.
1891 – Bering Sea Anti-Poaching Operations: July 2 to October 5, Naval forces sought to stop seal poaching.
1891 – Itata Incident: US and European naval forces intercepted and detained a shipment of arms sent to the Congressionalist forces in the Chilean Civil War.
1891 – Chile: August 28 to 30, US forces protected the American consulate and the women and children who had taken refuge in it during a revolution in Valparaíso.
1892 – Homestead Strike: On July 6, Striking miners attack Pinkerton National Detective Agency agents attempting to break the strike by bringing non-union workers to the mine. 6,000 Pennsylvania state militiamen sent to reinstate law and order. 16 dead, 27–47 wounded
1892 – Wyoming: April 11 to April 13, U.S. Cavalry sent to breakup a gun battle at the TA Ranch. Johnson County War
1893 – Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom: January 16 to April 1, Marines landed in Hawaii, ostensibly to protect American lives and property, but many believed actually to promote a provisional government under Sanford B. Dole. This action was disavowed by President Cleveland, and the United States apologized in 1993.
1894 – Nicaragua: July 6 to August 7, US forces sought to protect American interests at Bluefields following a revolution.
1894–95 – China: Marines were stationed at Tientsin and penetrated to Peking for protection purposes during the First Sino-Japanese War.
1894–95 – China: A naval vessel was beached and used as a fort at Newchwang for protection of American nationals.
1894–96 – Korea: July 24, 1894 to April 3, 1896, A guard of marines was sent to protect the American legation and American lives and interests at Seoul during and following the Sino-Japanese War.
1895 – Colombia: March 8 and 9, US forces protected American interests during an attack on the town of Bocas del Toro by a bandit chieftain.
1896 – Nicaragua: May 2 to 4, US forces protected American interests in Corinto during political unrest.
1898 – Nicaragua: February 7 and 8, US forces protected American lives and property at San Juan del Sur.
1898 – Spanish–American War: On April 25, 1898, the United States declared war with Spain, ostensibly aligned with Cuban rebels. The war followed a Cuban insurrection, the Cuban War of Independence against Spanish rule and the sinking of the in the harbor at Havana.
1898–99 – Samoa: Second Samoan Civil War, a conflict that reached a head in 1898 when Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States were locked in dispute over who should have control over the Samoan island chain.
1898–99 – China: November 5, 1898 to March 15, 1899, US forces provided a guard for the legation at Peking and the consulate at Tientsin during contest between the Dowager Empress and her son.
1899 – Nicaragua: American and British naval forces were landed to protect national interests at San Juan del Norte, February 22 to March 5, and at Bluefields a few weeks later in connection with the insurrection of Gen. Juan P. Reyes.
1899–1913 – Philippine Islands: Philippine–American War, US forces protected American interests following the war with Spain, defeating Filipino revolutionaries seeking immediate national independence. The U.S. government declared the “insurgency” officially over in 1902, when the Filipino leadership generally accepted American rule. Skirmishes between government troops and armed groups lasted until 1913, and some historians consider these unofficial extensions of the war.
1900–1909
1900 – China: From May 24 to September 28, Boxer Rebellion. American troops participated in operations to protect foreign lives during the Boxer uprising, particularly at Peking. For many years after this experience a permanent legation guard was maintained in Peking, and was strengthened at times as trouble threatened.
1901 – Colombia : From November 20 to December 4. US forces protected American property on the Isthmus and kept transit lines open during serious revolutionary disturbances.
1902 – Colombia: From April 16 to 23, US forces protected American lives and property at Bocas del Toro during a civil war.
1902 – Colombia : From September 17 to November 18, the United States placed armed guards on all trains crossing the Isthmus to keep the railroad line open, and stationed ships on both sides of Panama to prevent the landing of Colombian troops.
1903 – Honduras: From March 23 to 30 or 31, US forces protected the American consulate and the steamship wharf at Puerto Cortes during a period of revolutionary activity.
1903 – Dominican Republic: From March 30 to April 21, a detachment of marines was landed to protect American interests in the city of Santo Domingo during a revolutionary outbreak.
1903 – Syria: From September 7 to 12, US forces protected the American consulate in Beirut when a local Muslim uprising was feared.
1903–04 – Abyssinia : Twenty-five Marines were sent to Abyssinia to protect the US Consul General while he negotiated a treaty.
1903–14 – Panama: US forces sought to protect American interests and lives during and following the revolution for independence from Colombia over construction of the Isthmian Canal. With brief intermissions, United States Marines were stationed on the Isthmus from November 4, 1903 to January 21, 1914 to guard American interests.
1904 – Dominican Republic: From January 2 to February 11, American and British naval forces established an area in which no fighting would be allowed and protected American interests in Puerto Plata and Sosua and Santo Domingo City during revolutionary fighting.
1904 – Tangier, Morocco: “We want either Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead.” A squadron demonstrated to force release of a kidnapped American. Marines were landed to protect the consul general.
1904 – Panama: From November 17 to 24, U.S forces protected American lives and property at Ancon at the time of a threatened insurrection.
1904–05 – Korea: From January 5, 1904 to November 11, 1905, a guard of Marines was sent to protect the American legation in Seoul during the Russo-Japanese War.
1906–09 – Cuba: From September 1906 to January 23, 1909, US forces sought to protect interests and re-establish a government after revolutionary activity.
1907 – Honduras: From March 18 to June 8, to protect American interests during a war between Honduras and Nicaragua, troops were stationed in Trujillo, Ceiba, Puerto Cortes, San Pedro Sula, Laguna and Choloma.
1910–1919
1910 – Nicaragua: From May 19 to September 4, Occupation of Nicaragua. U.S. forces protected American interests at Bluefields.
1911 – Honduras: On January 26, American naval detachments were landed to protect American lives and interests during a civil war in Honduras.
1911 – China: As the Tongmenghui-led Xinhai Revolution approached, in October an ensign and 10 men tried to enter Wuchang to rescue missionaries but retired on being warned away, and a small landing force guarded American private property and consulate at Hankow. Marines were deployed in November to guard the cable stations at Shanghai; landing forces were sent for protection in Nanking, Chinkiang, Taku and elsewhere.
1912 – Honduras: A small force landed to prevent seizure by the government of an American-owned railroad at Puerto Cortes. The forces were withdrawn after the United States disapproved the action.
1912 – Panama: Troops, on request of both political parties, supervised elections outside the Panama Canal Zone.
1912 – Cuba: From June 5 to August 5, U.S. forces protected American interests in Oriente Province and in Havana.
1912 – China: August 24–26, on Kentucky Island, and August 26–30 at Camp Nicholson. U.S. forces protected Americans and American interests during the Xinhai Revolution.
1912 – Turkey: From November 18 to December 3, U.S. forces guarded the American legation at Constantinople during the First Balkan War
1912–25 – Nicaragua: From August to November 1912, U.S. forces protected American interests during an attempted revolution. A small force, serving as a legation guard and seeking to promote peace and stability, remained until August 5, 1925.
1912–41 – China: The disorders which began with the overthrow of the dynasty during Kuomintang rebellion in 1912, which were redirected by the invasion of China by Japan, led to demonstrations and landing parties for the protection of U.S. interests in China continuously and at many points from 1912 on to 1941. The guard at Peking and along the route to the sea was maintained until 1941. In 1927, the United States had 5,670 troops ashore in China and 44 naval vessels in its waters. In 1933 the United States had 3,027 armed men ashore. The protective action was generally based on treaties with China concluded from 1858 to 1901.
1913 – Mexico: From September 5 to 7, a few marines landed at Ciaris Estero to aid in evacuating American citizens and others from the Yaqui Valley, made dangerous for foreigners by civil strife.
1914 – Haiti: January 29 to February 9, February 20 and 21, October 19. Intermittently, U.S. naval forces protected American nationals in a time of rioting and revolution. The specific order from the Secretary of the Navy to the invasion commander, Admiral William Deville Bundy, was to “protect American and foreign” interests.
1914 – Dominican Republic: In June and July, during a revolutionary movement, United States naval forces by gunfire stopped the bombardment of Puerto Plata, and by threat of force maintained Santo Domingo City as a neutral zone.
1914–17 – Mexico: Tampico Affair led to Occupation of Veracruz, Mexico. Undeclared Mexican–American hostilities followed the Tampico Affair and Villa’s raids . Also Pancho Villa Expedition) – an abortive military operation conducted by the United States Army against the military forces of Francisco “Pancho” Villa from 1916 to 1917 and included capture of Veracruz. On March 19, 1915 on orders from President Woodrow Wilson, and with tacit consent by Venustiano Carranza General John J. Pershing led an invasion force of 10,000 men into Mexico to capture Villa.
1915–34 – Haiti: From July 28, 1915 to August 15, 1934, United States occupation of Haiti. US forces maintained order during a period of chronic political instability. During the initial entrance into Haiti, the specific order from the Secretary of the Navy to the invasion commander, Admiral William Deville Bundy, was to “protect American and foreign” interests.
1916 – China: American forces landed to quell a riot taking place on American property in Nanking.
1916–24 – Dominican Republic: From May 1916 to September 1924, Occupation of the Dominican Republic. American naval forces maintained order during a period of chronic and threatened insurrection.
1917 – China: American troops were landed at Chungking to protect American lives during a political crisis.
1917–18 – World War I: On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war with Germany and on December 7, 1917, with Austria-Hungary. Entrance of the United States into the war was precipitated by Germany’s submarine warfare against neutral shipping and the Zimmermann Telegram.
1917–22 – Cuba: U.S. forces protected American interests during insurrection and subsequent unsettled conditions. Most of the United States armed forces left Cuba by August 1919, but two companies remained at Camaguey until February 1922.
1918–19 – Mexico: After withdrawal of the Pershing expedition, U.S. troops entered Mexico in pursuit of bandits at least three times in 1918 and six times in 1919. In August 1918, American and Mexican troops fought at Nogales, Battle of Ambos Nogales. The incident began when German spies plotted an attack with Mexican soldiers on Nogales Arizona. The fighting began when a Mexican officer shot and killed a U.S. soldier on American soil. A full-scale battle then ensued, ending with a Mexican surrender.
1918–20 – Panama: U.S. forces were used for police duty according to treaty stipulations, at Chiriqui, during election disturbances and subsequent unrest.
1918–20 – Russian SFSR: Marines were landed at and near Vladivostok in June and July to protect the American consulate and other points in the fighting between the Bolshevik troops and the Czech Army which had traversed Siberia from the western front. A joint proclamation of emergency government and neutrality was issued by the American, Japanese, British, French, and Czech commanders in July. In August 7,000 men were landed in Vladivostok and remained until January 1920, as part of an allied occupation force. In September 1918, 5,000 American troops joined the allied intervention force at Archangel and remained until June 1919. These operations were in response to the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and were partly supported by Czarist or Kerensky elements. For details, see the American Expeditionary Force Siberia and the American Expeditionary Force North Russia.
1919 – Dalmatia : U.S. forces were landed at Trau at the request of Italian authorities to police order between the Italians and Serbs.
1919 – Turkey: Marines from the USS Arizona were landed to guard the U.S. Consulate during the Greek occupation of Constantinople.
1919 – Honduras: From September 8 to 12, a landing force was sent ashore to maintain order in a neutral zone during an attempted revolution.
1920–1929
1920 – China: On March 14, a landing force was sent ashore for a few hours to protect lives during a disturbance at Kiukiang.
1920 – Guatemala: From April 9 to 27, U.S. forces protected the American Legation and other American interests, such as the cable station, during a period of fighting between Unionists and the Government of Guatemala.
1920–22 – Russia : From February 16, 1920 to November 19, 1922, a Marine guard was sent to protect the United States radio station and property on Russian Island, Bay of Vladivostok.
1921 – Panama and Costa Rica: American naval squadrons demonstrated in April on both sides of the Isthmus to prevent war between the two countries over a boundary dispute.
1922 – Turkey: In September and October, a landing force was sent ashore with consent of both Greek and Turkish authorities, to protect American lives and property when the Turkish nationalists entered İzmir .
1922–23 – China: From April 1922 to November 1923, Marines were landed five times to protect Americans during periods of unrest.
1924 – Honduras: From February 28 to March 31, and from September 10 to 15, U.S. forces protected American lives and interests during election hostilities.
1924 – China: In September, Marines were landed to protect Americans and other foreigners in Shanghai during Chinese factional hostilities.
1925 – China: From January 15 to August 29, fighting of Chinese factions accompanied by riots and demonstrations in Shanghai brought the landing of American forces to protect lives and property in the International Settlement.
1925 – Honduras: From April 19 to 21, U.S. forces protected foreigners at La Ceiba during a political upheaval.
1925 – Panama: From October 12 to 23, strikes and rent riots led to the landing of about 600 American troops to keep order and protect American interests.
1926–33 – Nicaragua: From May 7 to June 5, 1926 and August 27, 1926 to January 3, 1933, the coup d’état of General Chamorro aroused revolutionary activities leading to the landing of American marines to protect the interests of the United States. United States forces came and went intermittently until January 3, 1933.
1926 – China: In August and September, the Nationalist attack on Hankow brought the landing of American naval forces to protect American citizens. A small guard was maintained at the consulate general even after September 16, when the rest of the forces were withdrawn. Likewise, when Nationalist forces captured Kiukiang, naval forces were landed for the protection of foreigners November 4 to 6.
1927 – China: In February, fighting at Shanghai caused presence American naval forces and marines to be increased. In March, a naval guard was stationed at American consulate at Nanking after Nationalist forces captured the city. American and British destroyers later used shell fire to protect Americans and other foreigners. Subsequently additional forces of Marines and naval forces were stationed in the vicinity of Shanghai and Tientsin.
1930–1939
1932 – China: American forces were landed to protect American interests during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai.
1932 – United States: “Bonus Army” of 17,000 WWI veterans plus 20,000 family cleared from Washington and then Anacostia flats “Hooverville” by 3rd Cavalry and 12th Infantry Regiments under Gen. Douglas MacArthur, July 28.
1933 – Cuba: During a revolution against President Gerardo Machado naval forces demonstrated but no landing was made.
1934 – China: Marines landed at Foochow to protect the American Consulate.
1940–1944
1940 – Newfoundland, Bermuda, St. Lucia, – Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua, Trinidad, and British Guiana: Troops were sent to guard air and naval bases obtained under lease by negotiation with the United Kingdom. These were sometimes called lend-lease bases but were under the Destroyers for Bases Agreement.
1941 – Greenland: Greenland was taken under protection of the United States in April.
1941 – Netherlands : In November, the President ordered American troops to occupy Dutch Guiana, but by agreement with the Netherlands government in exile, Brazil cooperated to protect aluminum ore supply from the bauxite mines in Suriname.
1941 – Iceland: Iceland was taken under the protection of the United States, with consent of its government replacing British troops, for strategic reasons.
1941 – Germany: Sometime in the spring, the President ordered the Navy to patrol ship lanes to Europe. By July, U.S. warships were convoying and by September were attacking German submarines. In November, in response to the October 31, 1941 sinking of the, the Neutrality Act was partly repealed to protect U.S. military aid to Britain.
1941–45 – World War II: On December 7, 1941, the United States declared war against Japan in response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. On December 11, Germany declared war against the United States.
1945–1949
1945 – China: In October 50,000 U.S. Marines were sent to North China to assist Chinese Nationalist authorities in disarming and repatriating the Japanese in China and in controlling ports, railroads, and airfields. This was in addition to approximately 60,000 U.S. forces remaining in China at the end of World War II.
1945–49 – Occupation of part of Germany.
1945–55 – Occupation of part of Austria.
1945–52 – Occupation of Japan.
1944–46 – Temporary reoccupation of the Philippines during World War II and in preparation for previously scheduled independence.
1945–47 – U.S. Marines garrisoned in mainland China to oversee the removal of Soviet and Japanese forces after World War II.
1945–49 – Post-World War II occupation of South Korea; North Korean insurgency in Republic of Korea
1946 – Trieste, : President Truman ordered the increase of US troops along the zonal occupation line and the reinforcement of air forces in northern Italy after Yugoslav forces shot down an unarmed US Army transport plane flying over Venezia Giulia.. Earlier U.S. naval units had been sent to the scene. Later the Free Territory of Trieste, Zone A.
1948 – Jerusalem : A Marine consular guard was sent to Jerusalem to protect the U.S. Consul General.
1948 – Berlin: Berlin Airlift After the Soviet Union established a land blockade of the U.S., British, and French sectors of Berlin on June 24, 1948, the United States and its allies airlifted supplies to Berlin until after the blockade was lifted in May 1949.
1948–49 – China: Marines were dispatched to Nanking to protect the American Embassy when the city fell to Communist troops, and to Shanghai to aid in the protection and evacuation of Americans.
1950–1959
1950–53 – Korean War: The United States responded to the North Korean invasion of South Korea by going to its assistance, pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions. US forces deployed in Korea exceeded 300,000 during the last year of the active conflict . Over 36,600 US military were killed in action.
1950–55 – Formosa : In June 1950, at the beginning of the Korean War, President Truman ordered the U.S. Seventh Fleet to prevent Chinese Communist attacks upon Formosa and Chinese Nationalist operations against mainland China.
1954–55 – China: Naval units evacuated U.S. civilians and military personnel from the Tachen Islands.
1955–64 – Vietnam: First military advisors sent to Vietnam on 12 Feb 1955. By 1964, US troop levels had grown to 21,000. On 7 August 1964, US Congress approved Gulf of Tonkin resolution affirming “All necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States. . .to prevent further aggression. . . assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asian Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance. . .”
1956 – Egypt: A marine battalion evacuated US nationals and other persons from Alexandria during the Suez Crisis.
1958 – Lebanon: 1958 Lebanon crisis, Marines were landed in Lebanon at the invitation of President Camille Chamoun to help protect against threatened insurrection supported from the outside. The President’s action was supported by a Congressional resolution passed in 1957 that authorized such actions in that area of the world.
1959–60 – The Caribbean: Second Marine Ground Task Force was deployed to protect U.S. nationals following the Cuban Revolution.
1959–75 – Vietnam War: U.S. military advisers had been in South Vietnam for a decade, and their numbers had been increased as the military position of the Saigon government became weaker. After citing what he falsely termed were attacks on U.S. destroyers, in what came to be known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, President Johnson asked in August 1964 for a resolution expressing U.S. determination to support “freedom and protect peace in Southeast Asia.” Congress responded with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving President Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of conventional military force in Southeast Asia. Following this resolution, and following a communist attack on a U.S. installation in central Vietnam, the United States escalated its participation in the war to a peak of 543,000 military personnel by April 1969.
1960–1969
1961 – Cuba: The Bay of Pigs Invasion, known in Hispanic America as Invasión de Bahía de Cochinos, was an unsuccessful military invasion of Cuba undertaken by the CIA-sponsored paramilitary group Brigade 2506 on 17 April 1961.
1962 – Thailand: The Third Marine Expeditionary Unit landed on May 17, 1962 to support that country during the threat of Communist pressure from outside; by July 30, the 5,000 marines had been withdrawn.
1962 – Cuba: Cuban missile crisis, On October 22, President Kennedy instituted a “quarantine” on the shipment of offensive missiles to Cuba from the Soviet Union. He also warned Soviet Union that the launching of any missile from Cuba against nations in the Western Hemisphere would bring about U.S. nuclear retaliation on the Soviet Union. A negotiated settlement was achieved in a few days.
1962–75 – Laos: From October 1962 until 1975, the United States played an important role in military support of anti-Communist forces in Laos.
1964 – Congo : The United States sent four transport planes to provide airlift for Congolese troops during a rebellion and to transport Belgian paratroopers to rescue foreigners.
1965 – Invasion of Dominican Republic: Operation Power Pack, The United States intervened to protect lives and property during a Dominican revolt and sent 20,000 U.S. troops as fears grew that the revolutionary forces were coming increasingly under Communist control. A popular rebellion breaks out, promising to reinstall Juan Bosch as the country’s elected leader. The revolution is crushed when U.S. Marines land to uphold the military regime by force. The CIA directs everything behind the scenes.
1967 – Israel: The USS Liberty incident, whereupon a United States Navy Technical Research Ship was attacked June 8, 1967 by Israeli armed forces, killing 34 and wounding more than 170 U.S. crew members.
1967 – Congo : The United States sent three military transport aircraft with crews to provide the Congo central government with logistical support during a revolt.
1968 – Laos & Cambodia: U.S. starts secret bombing campaign against targets along the Ho Chi Minh trail in the sovereign nations of Cambodia and Laos. The bombings last at least two years.
1970–1979
1970 – Cambodian Campaign: U.S. troops were ordered into Cambodia to clean out Communist sanctuaries from which Viet Cong and North Vietnamese attacked U.S. and South Vietnamese forces in Vietnam. The object of this attack, which lasted from April 30 to June 30, was to ensure the continuing safe withdrawal of American forces from South Vietnam and to assist the program of Vietnamization.
1972 – North Vietnam: Christmas bombing Operation Linebacker II . The operation was conducted from 18–29 December 1972. It was a bombing of the cities Hanoi and Haiphong by B-52 bombers.
1973 – Operation Nickel Grass, a strategic airlift operation conducted by the United States to deliver weapons and supplies to Israel during the Yom Kippur War.
1974 – Evacuation from Cyprus: United States naval forces evacuated U.S. civilians during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
1975 – Evacuation from Vietnam: Operation Frequent Wind, On April 3, 1975, President Ford reported U.S. naval vessels, helicopters, and Marines had been sent to assist in evacuation of refugees and US nationals from Vietnam.
1975 – Evacuation from Cambodia: Operation Eagle Pull, On April 12, 1975, President Ford reported that he had ordered U.S. military forces to proceed with the planned evacuation of U.S. citizens from Cambodia.
1975 – South Vietnam: On April 30, 1975, President Ford reported that a force of 70 evacuation helicopters and 865 Marines had evacuated about 1,400 U.S. citizens and 5,500 third country nationals and South Vietnamese from landing zones in and around the U.S. Embassy, Saigon and Tan Son Nhut Airport.
1975 – Cambodia: Mayaguez incident, On May 15, 1975, President Ford reported he had ordered military forces to retake the, a merchant vessel which was seized from Cambodian naval patrol boats in international waters and forced to proceed to a nearby island.
1976 – Lebanon: On July 22 and 23, 1976, helicopters from five U.S. naval vessels evacuated approximately 250 Americans and Europeans from Lebanon during fighting between Lebanese factions after an overland convoy evacuation had been blocked by hostilities.
1976 – Korea: Additional forces were sent to Korea after two American soldiers were killed by North Korean soldiers in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea while cutting down a tree.
1978 – Zaïre : From May 19 through June, the United States utilized military transport aircraft to provide logistical support to Belgian and French rescue operations in Zaïre.

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