Invasion, Intervention, "Intervasion": A Concise History of the U.S. Army in Operation Uphold Democracy
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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In September 1994, U.S. military forces were ordered to execute Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti. The stated objectives of that undertaking included the return to office of the democratically elected president of that country and the creation of a stable and secure environment in which democratic institutions could take hold. In the short term, these objectives were met President Aristide reassumed his duties as president, the junta that had ousted him in 1991 was forced to leave the country, and national elections were successfully held in 1996. Although the long-term prognosis for Haiti remains guarded, the democratic process there was given the opportunity to succeed due, in large part, to Operation Uphold Democracy. At the time American troops entered Haiti, I was Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. It was my firm conviction that the Armys experience in Uphold Democracy should be duly recorded, both for posterity and for officers today who have to wrestle with similar, unorthodox situations. The present study is one such contribution to the historical record. The result of this analysis is not an uncritical assessment of the Armys activities in Uphold Democracy. Documenting the successes of the operation while ignoring the difficulties and problems encountered by the participants would only distort the record and be of little use today and in the future. What this study does, however, is demonstrate that success is largely dependent on the ability to remain flexible and adapt to continuously changing conditions. It also serves to increase the data base to which Army officers now and in the future can refer when planning and executing unconventional operations.
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Unconventional Warfare