How To Define Military Adventurism

According to the Urban Dictionary, the term ‘military adventurism’ is a ‘Republican party euphemism for starting a war of aggression.’ Some people think it is a good thing. One writer claims that is a legitimate means by which a country may protect its interests from foreign intervention or to end a conflict. She cited American activities in Iraq and Afghanistan as necessary measures to fight terrorism. Others see it as Manifest Destiny gone mad.

An emeritus professor at the University of California recently published a trilogy on political history in which he expressed the view that American military adventurism is perilously out of control. George Washington, one of the Founding Fathers and the first American President, would apparently agree. He made it clear in his final speech that having a large standing army would jeopardize not only the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances that make America unique, it would threaten freedom itself.

If America is to be accused of military adventurism, it is in nefarious company. North Korea has been accused of implementing this strategy. The first example of such a ploy was its preparation in Spring 2012 of a long-range missile launch. Despite international condemnation and attempts at diplomacy, the launch went ahead under the guise of putting a satellite into space to mark the 100th birthday of Kim Il-Sung, the nation’s founder.

The rest of the world was not convinced of North Korea’s benign intentions. Instead, worldwide opinion was that the launch was an ill-disguised test of banned long-range missile technology. Aimed at west of the Korean peninsula in between the Philippines and Japan, both South Korea and Japan threatened to shoot it down if it posed a threat to their respective territories. Fortunately for international relations, the rocket plunged into the sea 105 miles off the western coast of Seoul in South Korea.

Japan itself has not been above dabbling in military adventurism. In the 1920s, it owned the South Manchurian Railway in China. As a ploy to occupy a piece of Chinese real estate, it hatched a plan to blow up a small section or track. Known thereafter as the ‘Murkden Incident’, the explosion caused little damage; trains were up and running within minutes.

When tensions flare up between India and Pakistan, everybody gets nervous. Any full-scale military conflict between these two nations that starts with conventional weapons is unlikely to conclude with conventional weapons. Pakistan has been engaging in skirmishes with India ever since it became independent from Great Britain in 1947. Some people think the United States has been behind this.

It may be Pakistan’s lawyers who have the final say. They defend their constitution, which restricts the role of the military to defending the country’s borders. Any excursions into adventurism would be unconstitutional.

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones at America for its military adventurism. North Korea, Pakistan and Japan have all toyed with the notion of world domination and there are no doubt many others. Look closely enough, and there will no doubt be examples in the Bible.

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