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To what extent have the 5 D's (dogma, democracy, dollar, diplomacy) shaped what...

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:14 PM via web

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To what extent have the 5 D's (dogma, democracy, dollar, diplomacy) shaped what Americans are willing to fight for? 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:27 PM (Answer #1)

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I have not heard the term “5 D’s,” and you only list four of them here.  I will discuss those.  I would say that these four (or at least three of them) have accounted for most of what Americans have been willing to fight for.  I would argue that one of the “D’s,” dogma, has not played much of a role.  In addition, I would say that there is one other thing that has been a major reason for Americans to fight.  That last thing that has caused Americans to fight is a desire for greater power and more land.

Three of these “D’s” have clearly been important in shaping what Americans will fight for.  Americans will clearly fight for democracy.  That has been seen in many wars.  These include the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.  Americans will clearly fight for diplomacy if diplomacy includes things like anti-communism.  This was shown in the Korean War and in Vietnam.  Americans will clearly fight for economic gain.  This can be said to have been at least part of our recent wars in the Persian Gulf area.  That is not to say that we fought for oil there, but it is to say that one reason why we fought there was to stabilize an area that is tremendously important to the world economy.

However I see two problems with saying that these four factors shape America’s willingness to fight.  First, religious dogma has played little role in any American wars.  Second, the desire for more land and more power has certainly played a role.  The Spanish-American War and the Mexican-American War, for example, were more about power than they were about any of the “D’s” that you mention.

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