Weinberger Doctrine

Weinberger Doctrine

The Weinberger Doctrine was a list of points governing when the United States could commit troops in military engagements. The doctrine was publicly disclosed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger on November 28, 1984 in a speech entitled "The Uses of Military Power" delivered before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The Weinberger Doctrine was an outgrowth of the collective lessons learned from the Vietnam War and the desire of the U.S. government to avoid such quagmires in the future.Fact|date=June 2008

The Weinberger doctrine:

# The United States should not commit forces to combat unless the vital national interests of the United States or its allies are involved.
# U.S. troops should only be committed wholeheartedly and with the clear intention of winning. Otherwise, troops should not be committed.
# U.S. combat troops should be committed only with clearly defined political and military objectives and with the capacity to accomplish those objectives.
# The relationship between the objectives and the size and composition of the forces committed should be continually reassessed and adjusted if necessary.
# U.S. troops should not be committed to battle without a "reasonable assurance" of the support of U.S. public opinion and Congress.
# The commitment of U.S. troops should be considered only as a last resort.

Events leading to the Weinberger Doctrine

The proximate event leading to Weinberger's speech was the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks at Beirut airport on October 23, 1983, in which 241 marines died. The U.S. Marines were in Lebanon as part of an ill-fated U.S. peacekeeping mission undertaken despite the vigorous opposition of the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, who argued that its purpose was never clearly defined and that the chaotic, violent situation in Lebanon could not be brought under control by any outside force. They further argued that any U.S. military contingent entered into the Lebanon conflict would become a convenient and prominent target for the various factions in the civil war.Fact|date=June 2008

A second, older event having strong impact on the Weinberger Doctrine was the U.S. military's failure to win the war in Vietnam and the costs incurred by the U.S. during that action.

See also

*Vietnam War
*Powell doctrine

External links

* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/military/force/weinberger.html PBS.org: transcript of "The Uses of Military Power"]

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