Wars are initiated for economic reasons with cultural influence a booty for the victor, intended or otherwise. Military conquest may be sold for cultural reasons such as religious conversion or spreading of an ideology, but make no mistake, military invasion will not be made unless there is an overriding economic purpose in the grand scheme. To consolidate victory and economic return realized, the defeated countries must be militarily occupied. Or should they be?
The problem is no nation with a different culture and race wants to be occupied however noble the reason for invasion is sold. Throughout history, foreign colonizers including the US have occupied militarily defeated countries with different cultures and races from themselves with nothing but disastrous outcomes.
Before the two great wars, US military occupations of Nicaragua, Haiti, The Dominican Republic, and Cuba have been political and financial mistakes. The 1912-1933 occupation of Nicaragua only created armed guerilla insurgencies and it became financially untenable during the great depression. The 1915-1934 occupation of Haiti gave rise to the cacos rebels and outrage from the country’s media and important public figures. The US did not make a new friend, the occupying marines were accused of racism towards the black populace with their slave-like treatments. The 1916-1924 occupation of the Dominican Republic resulted in the loss of sovereignty decried by the populace and although the guerilla resistance was crushed by US superior fire power, winning the hearts and minds of the people was never attained. Puppet military and political leaders were installed who simply enriched themselves with corruption. Finally, the 1917-1922 occupation of Cuba under pretense of protecting the sugar harvest only made a mortal enemy of a close neighbor that to this day resents the presence of the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay. More recently, the occupation wound has been exacerbated by making the base a detention camp and thereby adding to it’s cultural blight.
No lessons learned as post World War II military occupations also have predictably been disastrous. The military occupation of South Vietnam, particularly Saigon, by the British and French soon after the big war proved that hated foreign occupiers with historic anti-asian racism proclivities cannot control a nation successfully. The resistance took the form of the now common fighting characteristics of ambushes, hit-and-run raids, indiscriminate bombings and human sacrifices. Fast forward to the current US military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Will history keep repeating itself?
The point is if the real reason to invade is economic interest, then instead of having a protracted military presence in a foreign culture, the strategy should be to inculcate the values of capitalism supported by investments and employment of locals. Having a McDonald’s or Starbucks in every corner rather than the blight of a military fortress must be the mission. Military bases must go.
A most notable occupation is by the British of the US colonies. How did that go and how is that for perspective?