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Wars by President Since World War Two

Since World War Two, the United States has had 14 presidents.  They all have dealt with an America at war, dealing with varying degrees of conflict.  Most of them, such as newly inaugurated President Trump, inherited wars begun or left over from their predecessors.  Here is a listing of wars and conflicts under each president, beginning with the administration of Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 up to the new administration of Donald Trump in 2017. As events warrant, new wars and conflicts will be added.

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)

Inherited:

U.S. Occupation of Haiti, which Roosevelt ended in 1933

Initiated:

U.S. involvement in World War Two

Harry S Truman (1945-1953)

Inherited:

World War Two. Truman made the decision to use two atomic bombs on Japan

Initiated:

U.S. involvement in the Cold War against the Soviet Union and allied communist states and organizations

   U.S. involvement in the Korean War

Cold War Crisis/Incidents:

Soviet Occupation of  Northern Iran

Greek Civil War (U.S. supplied aid and military advisors to aid Greek government against communist rebels  

Berlin Crisis of 1948 and Berlin Airlift

Communist victory in Chinese Civil War

 

 

Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961)

Inherited:

Cold War

U.S. involvement in the Korean War    

Initiated/Engaged:

Covert U.S. action in Guatemala and Iran

U.S. military intervention in Lebanon in 1958

Military Intervention in Vietnam (advisors sent in 1955. 900 U.S. troops in Vietnam by the end of 1960)

Cold War Crisis/Incidents:

Taiwan Straits Crisis of 1954

Hungarian Revolution (Hungarians rebelled against Soviets in 1956)

Fidel Castro's victory in Cuban Revolution and his alliance with the Soviets. U.S. begins covert operations against Cuba, including planning for invasion by Cuban exiles.

U2 Spy Plane Shootdown and Crisis (1960)

 

 

John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)

Inherited:

Cold War

Covert Operations against Castro's Cuba

U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War

Initiated/Engaged:

Increase of American involvement in Vietnam and Laos.  By the time of Kennedy's death, nearly 16,000 U.S. troops were in Vietnam.

Cold War Crisis/Incidents:

Berlin Wall Crisis of 1961

Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba by Cuban Exiles with U.S. aid in 1961

Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962-Nearly led to war with Soviet Union

Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)

Inherited:

Cold War

   U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (part of the Cold War)

Initiated/Engaged:  

U.S. Invasion/Intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965

Korean DMZ Conflict. Low-level combat along the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea.  This conflict lasted from 1966 to December of 1969. The U.S. suffered 43 dead and 111 wounded.

Pueblo Crisis of 1968. North Korea attacked and captured the USS Pueblo off the Korean coast.

Cold War Crisis/Incidents:

Six-Day Arab-Israeli War of 1967. The U.S. supported Israel, while the Soviets       supported Egypt, Syria, and Iraq

 

Richard M. Nixon (1969-1974)

Inherited:

Cold War

U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. During the Johnson   Administration, the    war escalated to the point that in 1968, more than 500,000 U.S. troops were serving in Vietnam. Also sent troops to fight North Vietnamese in    Cambodia and Laos as part of Vietnam War

Cold War Crisis/Incidents:

North Korean Shootdown of U.S. Navy EC-121 reconnaissance plane in 1969. 31 American servicemembers killed.

1973 Arab-Israeli War. Soviet-supported Arab states attacked Israel.  The U.S. supported Israel. Intense U.S. and Soviet support of their allies nearly led to war.

 

Gerald R. Ford (1974-1977)

Inherited:

Cold War

U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War

Initiated/Engaged:

Final combat of the Indochina/Vietnam War in May of 1975, with the attempted rescue of the SS. Mayaguez from Cambodian rebels.

Cold War Crisis/Incidents:

Soviet and Cuban interventions in Africa

1976 Axe Murder at Panmunjom. North Korean troops kill an American soldier at the truce village of Panmunjom, Korea.

 

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

Inherited:

Cold War

Initiated/Engaged:

Iran Hostage Crisis

Cold War Crisis/Incidents: Soviet and Cuban interventions in Africa

Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)

Inherited:

Cold War

Ongoing hostility with Iran

Initiated/Engaged:

U.S. Intervention in Lebanon

Covert War on Nicaragua (Contra War)-part of Cold War

Salvadoran Civil War-U.S. provided military assistance and advisors to aid the    government of El Salvador against communist rebels.

U.S. Invasion of Grenada- part of Cold War

U.S. Conflict with Libya

U.S. Involvement in Iran-Iraq War (Tanker War and Iran-Contra Arms Deals)

Cold War Crisis/Incidents:

Soviet and Cuban interventions in Africa. The U.S. provided both overt and covert assistance to nations and armed groups in Africa opposing Soviet and Cuban interventions in Angola and Ethiopia.

Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan (U.S. actively aids Afghan resistance against Soviets)

 

George H.W. Bush (1989-1993)

Inherited:

Cold War-With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Cold War ended in 1991

Ongoing hostility with Iran

Initiated/Engaged:

U.S Invasion of Panama in 1989

Persian Gulf War to liberate Kuwait against Iraq in 1990-1991

No-Fly Zone War in Iraq (U.S. and Britain enforced no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq, while also initiated a virtual military occupation of the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq

U.S. Intervention in Somalia

Bill Clinton (1993-2001)

Inherited:

Ongoing hostility with Iran

U.S. Intervention in Somalia

Ongoing conflict with Iraq (No-Fly Zone War)

Initiated/Engaged:

U.S. Invasion of Haiti in 1991-Operation Uphold Democracy

Bosnian War (1992-1995)-The U.S. participated, along with NATO, in a war against Bosnian Serbs and Serbia in Bosnia.

Kosovo War of 1999- The U.S. participated, along with NATO, in a war against Serbia in order to facilitate the independence of Kosovo.

1998 Bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania by al-Qaida terrorists

U.S. Retaliation against al-Qaida in Sudan and Afghanistan -These incidents are     often referred to as the actual start of the U.S. war with al-Qaida and Islamic Jihadist groups. This retaliation was called Operation Infinite Reach

 

George W. Bush (2001-2009)

Inherited:

Ongoing hostility with Iran

No-Fly Zone War against Iraq

Conflict with al-Qaida

Initiated/Engaged:

Hainan Island Incident (2001)--A U.S. Navy EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft operating above the waters of the South China Sea was struck by a Chinese Air Force interceptor jet. 

September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

War in Afghanistan-The U.S invaded Afghanistan to fight al-Qaida and the Taliban

Invasion of Iraq

 

Barack Obama (2009-2017)

Inherited:

Ongoing hostility with Iran

War in Afghanistan

War in Iraq-The U.S. officially withdrew from Iraq in December of 2011

Conflict with al-Qaida-includes Drone War against al-Qaida and other Jihadist groups in Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere.

Initiated/Engaged:

Libyan War of 2011   

War with ISIS-The U.S. military returned to Iraq in 2014 to fight against the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL). This war also takes place in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other nation

U.S. aid to France in Mali War (2014)-U.S. provides air support, logistics, and other aid as France intervenes to stop Jihadist offensive in Mali

U.S. intervention in Joseph Kony conflict-U.S. troops aid Ugandan and other African militaries hunt down Joseph Kony

U.S. Intervention in Libyan Civil War (2014-Present)-U.S. involvement is primarily directed against Jihadist elements in Libya

U.S. Intervention in Yemen Civil War -U.S. involvement is primarily directed against Jihadist elements in Yemen

U.S. Intervention in Somali Civil War U.S. involvement is primarily directed against Jihadist elements in Somalia

 

 

 

Donald J. Trump (2017)

Inherited:

Ongoing hostility with Iran

War in Afghanistan

Wars Against ISIS, al-Qaida and other Islamic Jihadist groups in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, northern Africa and elsewhere