Police action

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In military/security studies and international relations, "police action" is a euphemism for a military action undertaken without a formal declaration of war.

Military Organization primarily tasked with preparing for and conducting war

A military is a heavily-armed, highly-organised force primarily intended for warfare, also known collectively as armed forces. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform. It may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Navy, Air Force and in certain countries, Marines and Coast Guard. The main task of the military is usually defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honor guards.

Security Degree of resistance to, or protection from, harm

Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential harm caused by others. Beneficiaries of security may be of persons and social groups, objects and institutions, ecosystems or any other entity or phenomenon vulnerable to unwanted change by its environment.

International relations Relationships between two or more states

International relations (IR) or international affairs (IA) — commonly also referred to as international studies (IS), global studies (GS), or global affairs (GA) — is the study of interconnectedness of politics, economics and law on a global level. Depending on the academic institution, it is either a field of political science, an interdisciplinary academic field similar to global studies, or an entirely independent academic discipline in which students take a variety of internationally focused courses in social science and humanities disciplines. In all cases, the field studies relationships between political entities (polities) such as sovereign states, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs), and the wider world-systems produced by this interaction. International relations is an academic and a public policy field, and so can be positive and normative, because it analyses and formulates the foreign policy of a given state.

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Since World War II, formal declarations of war have been rare, especially actions conducted by developed nations in connection with the Cold War. Rather, nations involved in military conflict (especially the major-power nations) sometimes describe the conflict by fighting the war under the auspices of a "police action" to show that it is a limited military operation different from total war.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Cold War Geopolitical tension after World War II between the Eastern and Western Bloc

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and the Truman Doctrine of 1947, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe, and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.

Total war conflict in which belligerents engage with all available resources

Total war is warfare that includes any and all civilian-associated resources and infrastructure as legitimate military targets, mobilizes all of the resources of society to fight the war, and gives priority to warfare over non-combatant needs. The Oxford Living Dictionaries defines "total war" as "A war that is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued, especially one in which the laws of war are disregarded."

The surviving crews of the SS Nisero, 1878. CO 1069-485-16 (7887880108).jpg
The surviving crews of the SS Nisero, 1878.

The earliest appearance of the phrase was in 1883, referring to attempts by Netherlands forces and English forces to liberate the 28-man crew of the SS Nisero, who were held hostage. [1] The Dutch term politionele acties (police actions) was used for this. It was also used to imply a formal claim of sovereignty by colonial powers, such as in the military actions of the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and other allies during the Indonesian National Revolution (1945–1949) and the Malayan Emergency (1948–1960).[ citation needed ]

"Politionele Acties" refers to two major military offensives undertaken by the Netherlands on Java and Sumatra against the Republic of Indonesia during its struggle for independence in the Indonesian National Revolution. In Indonesia they are known collectively as Agresi Militer Belanda, although the term Aksi Polisionil is also known.

Colonialism Creation, and maintenance of colonies by people from another territory

Colonialism is the policy of a nation seeking to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories, generally with the aim of opening trade opportunities. The colonizing country seeks to benefit from the colonized country or land mass. In the process, colonizers imposed their religion, economics, and medicinal practices on the natives. Some argue this was a positive move toward modernization, while other scholars counter that this is an intrinsically Eurocentric rationalization, given that modernization is itself a concept introduced by Europeans. Colonialism is largely regarded as a relationship of domination of an indigenous majority by a minority of foreign invaders where the latter rule in pursuit of its interests.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Examples of "police actions"

The two major Dutch military offensives, of July 1947 and December 1948, during the Indonesian National Revolution were referred to by the Dutch government as the first and second "police actions". [2]

Indonesian National Revolution armed conflict and diplomatic struggle between Indonesia and the Dutch Empire

The Indonesian National Revolution, or Indonesian War of Independence, was an armed conflict and diplomatic struggle between the Republic of Indonesia and the Dutch Empire and an internal social revolution during postwar and postcolonial Indonesia. It took place between Indonesia's declaration of independence in 1945 and the Netherlands' recognition of Indonesia's independence at the end of 1949.

Operation Product was the first of two major Dutch military offensives against areas of Java and Sumatra controlled by the Republic of Indonesia during the Indonesian National Revolution. It took place between 21 July and 4 August 1947. In Indonesia, the military offensive is more commonly known in history books and military records as Agresi Militer Belanda I.

Operation Crow was the code name for a Dutch military offensive against the newly formed Republic of Indonesia in December 1948 – January 1949. During this attack, the Dutch managed to capture the Indonesian Republic's temporary capital, Yogyakarta, and seized Indonesian leaders such as Republican President Sukarno.

The 1948 action, by India, against Hyderabad State, code named Operation Polo, was referred to as a police action by the government. [3]

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Hyderabad State princely state

Hyderabad State, also known as Hyderabad Deccan, was an Indian princely state located in the south-central region of India with its capital at the city of Hyderabad. It is now divided into Telangana state, Hyderabad-Karnataka region of Karnataka and Marathwada region of Maharashtra.

Government of India Legislative, executive and judiciary powers of India

The Government of India, often abbreviated as GoI, is the union government created by the constitution of India as the legislative, executive and judicial authority of the union of 29 states and seven union territories of a constitutionally democratic republic. It is located in New Delhi, the capital of India.

In the early days of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman referred to the United States response to the North Korean invasion as a "police action" under the aegis of the United Nations. [4]

Korean War 1950–1953 war between North Korea and South Korea

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.

Harry S. Truman 33rd president of the United States

Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, succeeding upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt after serving as vice president. He implemented the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, and established the Truman Doctrine and NATO.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that was tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.

Shortly after the secession of Biafra in 1967, the Nigerian military government launched a "police action" to retake the secessionist territory beginning the Nigerian civil war.

The Vietnam War and the Kargil War were undeclared wars and hence are sometimes described as police actions.

The Soviet–Afghan War was an undeclared war and hence also could be described as a police action, especially since the initial troop deployments into Afghanistan were at the request of the Afghan government.

In other events, the Congress (of the United States) had not made a formal declaration of war, yet the President, as the commander-in-chief, has claimed authority to send in the armed forces when he deemed necessary, with or without the approval of Congress. The legal legitimacy of each of these actions was based upon declarations such as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and Iraq Resolution by Congress and various United Nations resolutions. Nonetheless, Congressional approval has been asserted by means of funding appropriations or other authorizations as well as the contested War Powers Resolution.

Under international law

Police actions are authorized specifically by the Security Council under Article 53 (for regional action) or Article 42 (for global action). In both cases, the term used in the Charter text (English) is 'enforcement action'; the term 'police action' is not used.

Appropriate use of the term

Use of the term does not appear to have gained currency outside of the limited arena of justification of military action:[ citation needed ] for example, the U.S. Navy refers to the Korean conflict as the Korean War, and when they refer to police action, they surround the term in quotation marks. [5] [ improper synthesis? ]

Similarly, a plaque at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial refers to the Vietnam Conflict as a war, not a police action, even though it was undeclared.

Use of the term "police action" is intended to imply either a claim of formal sovereignty or of authority to intervene militarily at a nation's own discretion, typically unilaterally or with a small group of nations. This is often done through the United Nations or by asserting that the military operation is defensive or humanitarian in nature such as the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti or the Invasion of Grenada.

Veterans often display a high degree of disdain for the term "police action", as it somehow implies that their sacrifices were not legitimate and perhaps also that they are not even veterans of a true "war".[ citation needed ]

See also

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References

  1. http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?160714
  2. Vickers, Adrian (2006). A History of Modern Indonesia (Reprint ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University ya ya yaPress. pp. 99–100, 110–111. ISBN   0-521-54262-6.
  3. Majid, Daneesh. "When the troops went marching in". @businessline. Retrieved 2019-02-26.
  4. The President's News Conference of June 29, 1950
  5. http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/kowar/kowar.htm