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"I think there is no real argument that the historical lesson for the United States in the 20th Century has been the need for continued strong American involvement.
I'm one of those individuals who is looking at the emerging debate as to the direction of American foreign policy, and I'm thinking about three writers in particular: Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan's article called for continued American benevolent hegemony as the pole star of American policy - this is the article in Foreign Affairs magazine setting forth a Republican foreign policy on the one hand, and Richard Haass' latest work analyzing the various strands in the foreign policy debate, dismissing the hegemony call, and arguing for the sheriff, the tough sheriff on the beat.
For the sake of what has become a very very poor attempt at brevity, or in recognition of the precedent set by the Nuremberg Tribunal and principles laid out under the UN charter, these notes will mostly focus on post-WWII history - though it would seem imperative to include interventions that fly in the face of the popular misconception that the United States ended its imperial project at the end of the Spanish-American war.
There were military involvements during the 1890s by the United States Government ("USG" hereafter: it's not like it's your or somebody else's fault -- it's an institution with its own prerogatives which rarely accord with those it preposterously claims to represent) in Argentina, Chile, Haiti, Hawaii, Nicaragua, China, Korea, Panama, Samoa, in extremely brutal labour conflicts within the nation, and something akin to a war on working Americans waged by the National Association of Manufacturers that will otherwise go undiscussed.
1932-1972: The Tuskegee Syphilis Study 399 african american sharecroppers are denied treatment for syphilis as part of a US government medical study in 1932.
1912-1979: Nicaragua A sort of defacto American colonial holding during the mid 19th century - per the East India Company model of a private corporation taking control of a foreign nation with state assistance - US Marines occupy Nicaragua from 1912 to 1933.
In 1927 US Marines enter into a protacted struggle with the guerilla forces of Augusto Sandino, eventually suffering their first defeat against a third world insurgency.
No country has ever declared war on us before we first obliged them with that gesture. The US continued occupying the Phillipines for another 48 years.
Our whole history shows we have never fought a defensive war. US military involvement in the Phillipines continues to this day, much to the advantage of foreign investors, who continue to maintain economic hegemony.
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Between 19 the US occupies and rules the Dominican Republic.