Has any modern war actually ever been fought to "protect our freedom"

I hate to be anti-American and I’m waiting for McCarthy to kick down my door any second now, but it seems like every modern war or military operation in the US has never been out of the sense of protection of the homeland, our freedom, and our way of life. MAYBE for those in the other countries, I can see it, but not in the US.

In fact I’d go as far as to say that every war the US has been involved in besides the Revolutionary, Civil, and Second World War (all the big ones, yes I know) didn’t have anything to do with our freedom and our government being under attack.

The war of 1812 was certainly to defend our freedom.

There’s also the unfalsifiable, right-wing argument that the US’s constant displays of military aggression and prowess discouraged countries that would have attacked us had we not been so militaristic.

It might stretch the definition of modern, but one of the causes of the War of 1812 was the involuntary pressment of American sailors into the British Navy. It was also a blatant attempt to grab some of Canada, but freedom was in there.

Is one of our freedoms to be able to safely invest in foreign countries? One of our objectives in Iraq II was to have the grateful populous privatize their oil infrastructure, so we could be free to buy up their oil wells.

But if you mean protecting our homeland then I don’t think WWII qualifies, I’m sure the Axis Powers and the USA could have come to a peace agreement such that our homeland would never be at risk. The lend-lease program with them would most likely turned the tide of the war and made for a swift victory.

Some possibilities (none of which I can really claim support the criteria):

  1. The Indian Wars of the 19th century (and other times) occurred on the continent in response to American westward expansion, though I doubt you’ll find many supporters of them these days.

  2. The Mexican-American War ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which added a huge amount of land to the United States. It’s hard to call that ‘freedom’, though, especially considering the role of slavery in the war and its aftermath.

  3. The War in Afghanistan had a clear casus belli, although no one’s satisfied with the way it turned out.

As far as major wars, that’s all I can come up with. Still, the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War II were pretty solid, right?

Meh. I get your point, but…Hawaii. Also US shipping and holdings in the Pacific and Atlantic. It’s at least arguable that US involvement in WWII could be tied to defense.

Key word being “modern”, I’d argue not, not for freedom anyway. The bogey men keep rising and being shown to be nothing more than a bit of straw, with respect to freedom. In fact, it’s the constant outside threat that is used to justify a compromise over, temporary or permanent suspension of real individual freedoms in order to fight the bad guys who are supposedly out to take it away.

Ever since the Monroe Doctrine, the American government has clearly stated that it may fight for the defense of other nations.

No recent war has been a direct response to a threatened invasion of the USA. However, it’s reasonable to say that if the USA hadn’t fought in WWI, WWII, and others, the unchecked aggression of totalitarian governments would have threatened the country eventually.

The war on Al Qaeda. However the war in Afghanistan and Iraq are not the same thing. The war in Iraq helped create a sunni Islamist movement, and the vast majority of people we are fighting in Afghanistan are not Al Qaeda (I think they were down to something like 100 soldiers for a time).

Other than that, maybe WW2? Granted, I seriously doubt Japan would’ve invaded across the pacific, but both Japan and Germany tried to attack the US at home using various methods (commando crews, fire balloons, etc).

No idea beyond that.

Does the revolutionary war count? Granted we were declaring independence from Britain, but something like 1/3 of the public supported Britain and I think they outnumbered the ones who wanted independence. Besides, it isn’t like Britain is some evil dictator. The US being liberated from Britain isn’t like France being liberated from the Nazis or Eastern Europe being liberated from the USSR. Human, civil and political rights probably didn’t change much from a British vs American government.

It’s arguable that Germany might have won WWII if they had honored their pact with Russia, at least until they could occupy England. If isolationists in the US had been successful long enough for Hitler to secure Europe and Hirohito to control the Pacific, South America would almost certainly have been next on the list; then Central America, Mexico, Canada, then . . .

Trusting the Axis Powers to honor any peace agreement would have been foolhardy. The “whites of their eyes” defense is only a good strategy when it’s too late for anything else.

The Falklands War was to protect the Falkland Islanders.

Mainland US ? Sure. But remember, back then the Philippines were an American totally-not-a-colony, we-swear-the-independance-is-in-the-mail ; and there were plenty of American citizens, businesses and of course soldier boys to protect out there. Guam too, in fact it still is a kinda sorta US colony.

I think you will find the Axis powers decared war on the USA, not the other way around.

I think you could make a good argument that WW2 was a war for “freedom”, but the US reason for entering it was not freedom, but “We were attacked and war was declared on us”.

This is a hijack, but this is all silly and every sentence is incorrect.

Germany had already abandoned the proposed plan to invade England prior to Operation Barbarossa. Germany of 1940 and 1941 did not have the capacity to invade Britain. Full stop. The Soviet Union was progressing along with its military development and would not have been a pushover for Germany. As pointed out by the Grim Render, it was not the isolationist which failed to keep the US out of the war, it was Japan and then Germany which brought the war to America. Hirohito was not the equivalent of Hitler. The answer to why is far beyond the scope of this hijack.

Even had Germany successfully defeated or neutralized the UK, and pushed the Soviets beyond the Urals, they did not have the manpower or the inclination to invade South America, with or without Japan. Japan did not have the manpower or logistics to invade Hawaii, let alone anything east of there.

Officially, yes. But America had been actively helping the UK and Russia with war materials (in spite of treaties/conventions, I believe), as well numerous Allied freighters ferrying war materials flew the American flag because it was officially “safe” and the US never objected to the practice.

So it’s not like the Axis had no cause whatsoever to get a real war going, cards on the table ; and it’s not like the US was a pristine dove savaged out of a clear blue sky by ravenous barbarians.

hang on. The US government had been selling - and profiting - from providing equipment.

“American” opinion polls showed the population was not inclined to have young men die in ‘another European war’. Making money out of it was another matter.

Be that as it may, from the Germans’ point of view it was still a case of US steamers full to the brim with spam and shells (or spam, shells and spam ; or spam, spam, shells, bullets and spam ; or…:p) reaching the shores of their enemies unmolested, in spite of the neutrality ostensibly espoused by the American government in both discourses and treaties.
I mean, at some point you have to cut the shit, right ? Either you’re in or you’re out.

ETA : I guess the US could have actually stayed out of it had they sold arms and material equally to both sides, which would also have been good business. But seeing as y’alls had quite evidently taken a side, you can’t blame the Nazis for reacting to it in typical Nazi fashion ; nor claim it was irrational, uncalled for, unprecedented etc…

Well, except that we DID sell weapons and other material to Germany (and I think Italy as well, though not as sure about that) prior to us becoming fully involved in the war. We were essentially selling stuff to all sides at one point. The Germans, however, had placed the UK and later Russia under a blockade and started sinking US flagged shipping bound for either country which pretty cause the US to basically start a covert naval war with Germany. True, at THAT point the US had sort of kind of picked a side, though we didn’t start open hostilities with Germany until they formally declared war on us after Pearl Harbor. You make it sound as if the Germans had no choice but to sink US flagged shipping, and that they were justified in this, which is really glossing over the complexities of the situation and generally letting the Germans off the hook for their decisions. It’s more complex that ‘US got what it deserved for trading with the UK and Russia’.

Didn’t have ANYTHING to do with our freedom? No, disagree with that. All of them were fought to protect US interests abroad (as defined and evaluated as the folks who were in charge of the country at the time they occurred), which has ‘protect our freedom’ bundled up in it. That many of the administrations were wrong or wrong headed about the wars we got embroiled in doesn’t negate that at least part of the WHY we fought (or why our elected officials decided we would fight) was to protect those perceived interests, which is all part of the preconception of ‘protecting our freedom’.

Not really. Kind of difficult to “stay out of it” after Germany declared war on the USA.