Tori Nuariza Sutanto1
The Triumph of America as a nation-state with the allies block in the World War II gradually leads a great change politically, economically, culturally, and socially to the United States of America. The History of World War I, World War II, Cold War, Vietnam War, Korean War, Gulf War, and some conflicts dynamically influences the rapid growth of United States of America in terms of bargaining position geo-politically throughout the world. The emerging of the U.S toward Great Depression under the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt with his New Deal proposal changes the situation which upgrades the American support to the government, and solves some big problems in the U.S in terms of unemployment, agriculture, banking, industry, and etc. United States of America merely proves the world as a strong country that can overcome their problems. The dynamic situation in the Great Depression and the first beginning of World War II become the starting point of the U.S to be the super power nation.
Concerning about the U.S Military development in the era of 1960s, previously the background of historical context should be the first proportion to know why the U.S has been developing U.S Military Basis and later on tends to be war-like. The intervention of U.S in the other country problems later on will be very clear explored with the fundamental reasons of the counter-ideology idea. The attacks of Pearl Harbour in the 1941, which is the U.S Military Headquarters in Asia-Pasific, changes the U.S decision to consolidate with the allies block to be in war with the Japan, Germany, and Italy. The conditions after the World war II that continually grows to be Cold War with the Soviet Union convinces the U.S that they need the strong military basis.
The establishment Pentagon as the military headquarters, The big allocation in military spending budget, the industrial revolutions in military industries and services, were portrayed the will of United States to be always step ahead in the military. Finding new inventions and technologies, new strategies and other supporting system in terms of Military, becomes urgent because of the United States of America put their stability of nation and security as the first priority. Therefore, The security of their country has to be under control. This study is aimed at exploring the urgency of U.S strong military basis by drawing a glance of history of the U.S geopolitically after the World War II, Cold War, and giving a clear stance if the writer as a U.S citizen supported the government to build the strong military basis.
A Glance of Geo-political and Historical condition of the U.S after World War II in the world
A change happpened after the World War II end. The United States dominated global affairs in the years immediately2 after the World War II. The triumph came to the United States with no damages in their homeland. Therefore they would be more confident as a nation of their mission home and abroad. American showed that it was a need for them to give a strong stances against Soviet Union that will be growed in the cold war after 1945.
The New Deal program under Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been successfully solved their problems after Great Depression. They enjoyed a postwar prosperity that led to create a new levels of prosperity or affluence.
Gradually some Americans started to question dominant assumptions that growed in the society. Challenges on a variety of fronts shattered the concensus3. In the 1950s, African Americans launched a crusade, joined later by other minority groups and women, for a larger share of the American Dream4.
In the 1960s, politically active students protested the nation’s role abroad, particularly in the corrosive war in Vietnam5A youth counter culture emerged to challenge the status quo6. Americans from many walks of life sought to establish a new social and political equalibrium7.
A Glance of The emerging of Cold War
The Cold War was the most important political and diplomatic issue of the early postwar period8. It was exploded firstly at the period of the clash between Soviet Union and United States since the Russian Revolution 1917. After the Revolution, Communist party under the Soviet Union leader Lenin considered himself as the world leader wanna-be who will be led the international movement. In the 1933, United States had already recognized Soviet Union diplomatically as a country. With some frictions that happened before, both were seen each other suspicious. However, During the World War II, United States and Soviet Union became allied and downplayed their differences to counter the Nazi threat9.
In the end of the World War II, United States hoped to share their conceptions of liberty, equality, and democarcy with the other countries. But actually, Soviet Union had a hidden agenda. Historically, Soviet Union’s tradition of centralized and autocratic government was in contrast with the American emphasis on the democracy. Marxist-Leninist ideology had been downplayed during the war but still guided Soviet policy10. After the devastation of 20 millions of their citizen which had died, Soviet government was intent on rebuilding and protecting themselves from another such terrible conflict11. The Soviet Union concerned about another invasion of their territory from the West, remembering Hitler invasions which they really hated.
Soviet Union demanded defensible borders and friendly regimes in Eastern Europe12. It was done with their hidden agenda of spreading communism. United States merely felt the danger of spreading communism ideology later on toward their country. Under the Presidency of Harry Truman, United States responded with the idea of ‘Truman Doctrine’ with finally heated the tension of the Cold War. In order of countering the spreading of Communism Truman gave speech to the Congress,
“I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”13
The statement by the Harry Truman in the speech in the Congress led the Congress to provide $400 milions in economic and military aid for Greece mostly and also for Turkey. The Doctrine of countering spreading of communism also suggested to expand economic aid to the Western Europe recovery. With many of the region’s nations economically and politically unstable, United States feared that local communist party directed by Moscow, would capitalize on their wartime record of resistance to the Nazis and come to power 14.
Next, in the mid 1947, the secretary of the state of Foreign Affairs at that time George C. Marshall, also declared that the common enemy of countries in the world was not the doctrine but they directed to against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos. Later on, Congress decided to fund the “Marshall Plan” which helped underwrite the economic resurgence of the Western Europe. Generally, it is regarded as the most successfully foreign policy initiatives of U.S History.
The clash of United States and Soviet Union continually growed for the Germany which Post-war Germany was a special problem. It had been divided into U.S, Soviet, British, and French zones of occupation, with the former German Capital of Berlin (itself divide into four zones), near the center of the Soviet zone15.
On June 1948, Soviet forces blockaded the Berlin, that cutting off all roads and rail access to the West16. United States Leaders feared that losing Berlin meant that they would be loosen Germany and subsequently all of the Europe.
To overcome the spreading of Communism and also to support the Economic development in the Europe, such a militarry alliance formed initiated by the Europeans. In 1949, The United States and 11 other countries established NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). The Organization can be called as military alliance, as a consequence, such an attack against one of the members was to be considered as attack against all.
The cold war were also happened in the Middle-East and Asian. The Influence of Communism in China suprised the United States, when the new regime of China declared to support the Soviet Union against the Imperialism of the United States. The Korean War was also the impact of the cold war, where Northern Korea under Kim Jong Il helped by the Soviet Union against South Korea helped by the United States. Next, the cold war also happened in the Middle-East country such as Iran. Middle East countries was very important because they were supplier of the Oil. The economic motives also became one of the reason why both U.S and Soviet Union wanted to have strong influence geopolitically with the oil supplier countries. One of the issues also the recognition of the U.S toward Israel as a state, after 15 minutes after it was proclaimed17. It was a dilemma later on for the U.S how maintaining the good relations with the Arab states (oil supplier) that anti-israeli.
Then, the role of the United States against Soviet Union in the cold war continually heated till the the end of cold war symbolized with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The treaty signed by the U.S President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union President Michael Gorbachev on December, 1987. In the era of Boris Yeltsin and Gorbachev, the end of cold war happened with the dissolution of the Soviet Union forced under the Presidency of Boris Yeltsin.
Under the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon.B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Bush United States fluctuatively role the Cold War till the end of cold war.
Military Industrial Complex
Military Industrial complex, is one of the term that be well known after the farewell adress of President Dwight Eisenhower. Fifty years ago this month, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his farewell address to Americans, cautioned that the “military-industrial complex” must never be allowed to “endanger our liberties or democratic processes18. According his final address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned to the American people that the country must guard against unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exist and will persist19. Therefore, Eisenhower warned for his successors, his people, and all of the part of the U.S to watched out for the military industrial complex to be not endanger the democratic process.
The term military-industrial complex is used to represent a comfortable or mutual relationship between parties that are charged to manage wars (the military, the presidential administration, and congress) and companies that produce weapons and equipment for war industry. Simply, It is can be described as a symbiotic relationship or friendly that may develop between defense contractors and government forces20. Both will receive what they are looking for such a succesfull military engangement for warplanners and financial profit21. Military-industrial complex can be viewed as a “war for profit” theory.
The military industry is a dominant player for the U.S Economy21. As a consequence, the military orders drive America’s manufacturing sector. More than one-third of all engineers and scientists in the US are engaged in military-related jobs22. It make some sections of the country and a number of industrial factors became dependent upon military spending or foreign arm sales in particular shipbuilding and aerospace23.
Stance : As a U.S citizen the U.S is needed to build the strong military basis
This paper aimed at exploring why the U.S needs to build the strong military basis in the context of the U.S in the 1960s. The writer in this way portrayed as a U.S citizen that should give the clear stance whether or not support the government decision to build the strong military basis. This paper entitled the Urgency of U.S Strong Military Basis, directly supported the U.S to build strong military basis as the U.S citizen’s perspective.
It is clearly explained above how the background of history of the cold war, the geopolitical condition of the U.S before and after the World War II, and also a glance about the emerging of cold war. The Military Industrial complex also becomes the essential information that stated above and contructs this paper theoritically why the U.S should build the strong military bases.
 Tori Nuariza Sutanto, a seventh semester student of English Department of Sebelas Maret University, focuses on american studies mainstream.
2 Hambly L. Alonzo, 2005. An Outline of U.S History ; revised edition. Published by the Bureau of International Information, U.S Department of State. http://usinfo.state.gov/ page 258
3 ibid, 258
4 ibid, 258
5 ibid, 258
8 ibid, 259
13 ibid, 261
14 ibid, 263
15 ibid, 262
18http://www.usnews.com/topics/author/caitlin_huey_burns “the modern military industrial complex,. December 1, 2011 ,.
19 “Derailing Democaracy” by the David McGowan, Common Courage Press, 2000,.page 1 http://www.globalissues.org/military-propaganda-for-arm-sales,.
20 http://militaryindustrialcomplex.com/ “what is the military indistria complex?”,.retrieved december 1, 2011
21 http://agp.org/ “U.S Military Industrial Complex; profiting from war” special report by Jennifer del Rosario-Malonzo, retrieved December 16, 2011.