Monday, July 14, 2014

War and Those Responsible

The Apotheosis of War - Vasily Vereshchagin (1871)
Quite a few liberals and progressives like to accuse the Republicans and Conservatives of being Warmongers, the tools of the military industrial complex, but is it really so one-sided? From blame for extermination of the native population in the ongoing quest for American Exceptionalism to today's "war for oil".

A list of Wars of the United States and the presidents in office when they started.  I've left off the Northwest Indian War (1785-1793) because it started four years before George Washington took office in 1789. Democrat Presidents are in Red Font, all others appear in Blue. The basic list is courtesy of Wikipedia "This is a list of wars involving the United States of America during and since the American Revolutionary War, detailing all constituent military theatres and campaigns. 

Quasi-War (1798-1900): John Adams (F)
1st Barbary War (1801-1805): Thomas Jefferson (D-R)
Patriot War - West Florida (1810): James Madison (D-R)
Tecumseh's War (1811): James Madison (D-R)
War of 1812(1812-1815): James Madison (D-R)
Creek War (1813-1814): James Madison (D-R)
2nd Barbary War (1815): James Madison (D-R)
First Seminole War (1814-1819) James Madison (D-R)
Arikara War (1823): James Monroe (D-R)
Winnebago War (1827): John Quincy Adams (D-R)
First Sumatran Expedition (1832): Andrew Jackson (D)
Black Hawk War (1832): Andrew Jackson (D)
Second Seminole War (1835-1842): Andrew Jackson (D)

Patriot War (Canada) (1838): Martin Van Buren (D)
Mexican-American War (1846-1848): James Polk (D)
Cayuse War (1847-1855): James Polk (D)

Apache Wars (1851-1900): Millard Fillmore (W)
Puget Sound War (1855-1856): Franklin Pierce (D)
Rogue River Wars (1855-1856): Franklin Pierce (D)
Third Seminole War (1855-1858): Franklin Pierce (D)
Yakima War (1855-1858): Franklin Pierce (D)
Second Opium War (1856-1860): Franklin Pierce (D)
Utah War (1857-1858): James Buchanan (D)
Navaho Wars (1858-1866): James Buchanan (D)
1st & 2nd Cortina War (1859-1861): James Buchanan (D)
Paiute War (1860): James Buchanan (D)
Reform War (1860): James Buchanan (D)

Civil War (1861-1865): Abraham Lincoln (R)
Dakota War (1862): Abraham Lincoln (R)
Colorado War (1863-1865): Abraham Lincoln (R)
Snakes War (1864-1868): Abraham Lincoln (R)

Red Clouds War (1866-1868): Andrew Johnson (D)
Comanche Campaign (1867-1875): Andrew Johnson (D)

Modoc War (1872-1873): U.S. Grant (R)
Red River War (1874-1875): U.S. Grant (R)
Las Cuevas War (1875): U.S. Grant (R)
Great Sioux War (1876): U.S. Grant (R)
Nez Perce War (1877): Rutherford B Hayes (R)
Bannock War (1878): Rutherford B Hayes (R)

Cheyenne War (1878-1879): Rutherford B Hayes (R)
Sheepeater War (1879): Rutherford B Hayes (R)
White River War (1879-1880): Rutherford B Hayes (R)
Pine Ridge Campaign (1890-1891): Benjamin Harrison (R)
Kingdom of Hawaii (1893): Benjamin Harrison (R)
Second Samoan War (1898-1899): William McKinley (R)
Spanish American War (1898): William McKinley (R)
Philippine-American War (1899-1902): William McKinely (R)

Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901): William McKinley (R)
Border War (1910-1919): Wiliam Howard Taft (R)
World War I (1917-1918): Woodrow Wilson (D)
Russian Civil War (1917-1922): Woodrow Wilson (D)
World War II (1941-1945): Franklin D Roosevelt (D)
Korean War (1950-1953): Harry S Truman (D)
2nd Indochina War Advisors (1950-1965): Harry S Truman (D)
Vietnam War Troops (1965-1973): Lyndon B Johnson (D)

Gulf of Sidra (1981): Ronald Reagan (R)
Grenada (1983): Ronald Reagan (R)
Panama (1989-1990) George H. W. Bush (R)
Persian Gulf War (1990-1991) George H. W. Bush (R)
Somalia (1992-1994) George H.W. Bush (R)

Bosnian War (1993-1995) Bill Clinton (D)
Haiti (1994-1995) Bill Clinton (D)
Kosovo War (1998-1999) Bill Clinton (D)

Afghanistan (2001-    ): George W. Bush (R)
Iraq War (2003-2011): George W. Bush (R)

Libya (2011): Barrack Obama (D)

If anything, the list shows that we go to war or resort to force regardless of the party in the oval office.  

One can also take a look at military interventions short of war, keep in mind in some places these lists overlap: 

History of US Military Interventions


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