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6 Whitehead J. Dipl. & Int'l Rel. 97 (2005)
Operation Exporting Freedom: The Quest for Democratization via United States Military Operations

handle is hein.journals/whith6 and id is 97 raw text is: Operation Exporting Freedom: The Quest for
Democratization via United States Military
by John A. Tures
The wave oftheffuture is not the conquest ofthe world by a single dogmatic
creed, but the liberation of the diverse energies offree nations and free men.
-President John E Kennedy, University of California at Berkeley Address,
March 23, 1962
Since September 11, 2001, the United States has launched military operations
against Afghanistan and Iraq. The names of these operations, Operation Enduring
Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, imply that at least part of the mission will
be devoted to promoting democracy in these countries. Proponents of exporting
freedom extol the virtues of such policies, pointing to success stories in Germany
and Japan after World War II, as well as more recent cases, such as Panama after
1989. Critics assail America's track record of using military force to promote
democratization, citing failures in Somalia and Haiti, as well as incomplete efforts
such as Bosnia. The question before us is whether Afghanistan and Iraq will look
more like the former group, or begin to resemble the latter group.
The answer is critical for the future of American foreign policy. Other Axis of
Evil states are awaiting confrontation with the United States. People in Central
Asia, the Middle East, East Asia, and Africa could find themselves along the battle
lines in the War on Terrorism. Furthermore, Americans, who are being asked to
sacrifice the things they hold dear, are anxious about the outcome. If the United
States can effectively promote democratization, others might support the spread of
freedom. Democratic revolutions may topple autocratic leaders, or authoritarian
regimes may be pressured to reform. Such support for freedom could deny the
terrorists bases of operation, as well as motives for attacking Americans. However,
the consequences of failure would be severe. Cynicism resulting from unsuccessful
democratization efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq would dampen support for freedom
elsewhere. America's autocratic enemies and allies would point to such shortcomings
Dr. John A. Tures is assistant professor of political science at LaGrange College, LaGrange, Ga., USA.
The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations

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