Advanced Base Force - Background


Before the creation of the Advanced Base Force, the victory over Spain in the Spanish-American War had greatly influenced the expansion of the United States. By the time the Treaty of Paris was ratified in 1898 the United States had annexed the Philippines in the western Pacific to influence foreign relations in China and Korea; primarily through the presence of the Asiatic Squadron. The McKinley Administration included Guam and the Hawaiian Islands to the south Pacific insular areas of Samoa. Also, Congress approved the Foraker Act in the annexation of Puerto Rico for the defense and protection of the newly independent Cuba from any possible foreign attack. The government also negotiated with Nicaragua and Columbia for the right to build an isthmian canal through Panama.

Due to the new, vast expansion of territory, the Navy began to assume strategic duties unimagined before 1898. In 1900, the "General Board of the Navy" was established to foresee and make recommendations on naval policy, assuming the tasks of the nation's naval expeditionary and strategic challenges.

The General Board developed some potential war plans for possible events that may be measured if such attacks were to be aimed for the continental east coast, Antilles of the Caribbean, or the Panama Canal. The most dangerous, likely foe that the United States Navy faced was the British Royal Navy, and had been implemented into War Plan RED, however, relations had improved and both already committed to a growing rapprochement. It instead agreed that the most likely foe would be the Germany's Imperial Navy, a burgeoning force of warships that were at the disposal of Emperor Wilhelm II. In response to possible German naval invasion of the Caribbean or attacks on the east coast, the United States devised War Plan BLACK. To also include Germany having purchased Spain's remaining central Pacific island colonies, and the Mariana Islands and the Caroline Islands, and its establishment of a naval base in China in 1900. And after the Russo-Japanese War, victorious Imperial Japan had serious plans of expanding its influence south and west in the Pacific. The United States Navy solely relied on the islands for refueling stations for the coal-powered navy ships; the lifeline to the naval bases in the Philippines and Guam. If such an attack was initiated by the Japanese, a system of Pacific naval bases were needed to be built, in order to put War Plan ORANGE into effect.

The sum of it all, the Navy's war planning after 1900 assumed that maritime attacks on the United States and its interests were possible in both the Pacific and the Caribbean, and given the thousands of miles the fleet would have to steam to provide security to the outermost bases of Guam, the Philippines, or of the similar. The General Board was convinced that it would require hastily developed advanced bases, and it could not depend on the small and overextended United States Army to defend the bases in short order.

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Famous quotes containing the word background:

    In the true sense one’s native land, with its background of tradition, early impressions, reminiscences and other things dear to one, is not enough to make sensitive human beings feel at home.
    Emma Goldman (1869–1940)

    ... every experience in life enriches one’s background and should teach valuable lessons.
    Mary Barnett Gilson (1877–?)

    Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality can disturb us.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)