HistoireTHE USA & CONFLICT 1941-2016
Introduction - America at war 1941-2016
The notions
What were the different types of conflict the USA was involved in?

The Cold War
Confrontation USSR/USA by all means except direct war because they had nuclear weapons (used as a deterrent because it is a weapon of mass destruction -chemical, biological, nuclear weapons) ; without face-to-face combat/fight but proxy or indirect war possible.
Because 2 different models; Soviet communist dictatorship based on equality versus US market democracy based on freedom + their allies = 2 (Western & Eastern) blocks separated by the iron curtain in Europe
=> Consequence
Containment (also called the Truman Doctrine); US foreign policy to prevent Soviet expansion, the spread of communism viewed as a threat due to the domino theory (if one country falls to communism, its neighbours will be contaminated and fall too)

“Hot”, "shooting" wars
Starting a war
- war of aggression: offensive, surprise attack, invasion against international law
- war of prevention: attacking, striking 1st to prevent a possible, probable, potential attack
=> - war of retaliation: striking (in revenge) back after an attack
- war of liberation: to free a people, country from invasion
Waging war
More or less involvement
- escalation: progressive involvement ≠ all-out war: massive military operations
- total war: civilians on home front & armed forces on the frontline - on air, sea, land (WW).
- global war: on a world scale inside and outside the country by all means, not just military (post 9/11)
From military to civilian targets
- war of annihilation: to eradicate troops but also civilians targeted on purpose
- dirty (versus clean) war: using disproportionate and indiscriminate force, mainly on civilians,
Different opponents, different wars
- symmetric warfare: between two states, with similar power, resources, tactics,
- dissymmetric warfare: between a weak and a strong state with same tactics,
- asymmetric warfare: between a state formal military using conventional means and an informal, weaker but resilient opponent fighting unconventionally (terrorism or guerrilla war: small group ambushing, harassing a superior force with hit-and-run tactics) => a quagmire: a war that is so difficult, dangerous or complicated that progress is impossible.