ABSTRACT

This chapter describes several United States (US) foreign interventions, focusing mainly on the three most relevant to Iraq: Iran in 1953, Vietnam from 1964 to 1973, and Afghanistan from 1980 to 1989. During World War II, Britain and the USSR jointly occupied Iran. The Cuban model impressed revolutionaries around the world because unlike Iran or Guatemala, it was able to withstand US intervention. In both the Vietnam and Iraq wars the US military initially relied on mainly conventional warfare tactics but later expanded the role of counterinsurgency techniques. The South Vietnamese government and armed forces were saturated with corrupt officials, further undermining their legitimacy. The military dictatorship created favorable conditions for domestic and foreign business operations. Nicaragua has experienced both US occupation and covert intervention. The USSR, after helping defeat the United States in Vietnam, made its own tragic mistake intervening in Afghanistan to support a pro-Soviet regime.