THE “JUST IN CASE” FOREIGN POLICY (my quick and dirty notes) by Valerie Sobel
An open letter to all those emoting about Trump's pull-out from Syria and partial pull-out from Afghanistan.
Let's take Syria first. What is it about American boots on the ground in Damascus that provides so much comfort? Are they getting rid of Assad? No. And it was never ever intended.
Are they fighting Hezbollah with intent of wiping it out along with an array of lesser evil Islamic fighting groups in the region? No. And it was never intended.
Are they trying to turn Syria into a democratic country, rebuild its infrastructure, install American rule of law, dissuade Syrians from leaving their homeland? No. And it was never intended.
Are they there to flex American muscle in front of Putin and his economic dependence on Iran? No. And it was never intended.
So if none of these are the goals, past or future, then what exactly is the reason for all these sorrowful tears about the Syria pull out?
The only reason American boots were on the ground in the land of Apocalyptic prophecies is ISIS. Now that this goal has been reasonably accomplished by Trump, what exactly are the tax payers' dollars doing in Syria?
No one wants to pretend that ISIS can't rise up again, but that would be almost next to impossible considering their current financial state. Besides, we're talking about Islam, the next Caliphate-happy bunch is already jumping at the bit. And after them, they'll be another. And then another. And so on.
So what's the plan? We station American boys in the jaws of Islam indefinitely? "Just in case" is our foreign policy now? And what exactly is the timeline for such a foreign policy? And how exactly does Trump fund it?
Let's travel to Afghanistan now. What exactly scares the poop out of us if half of the 14,000 American boys finally go home?
If they stay, will Taliban magically disappear forever? Has it in the last 18 years of America's longest war in history? Anyone have any specific intel how this is probable in the future considering it was never achieved in the present, or the past?
Was the goal to turn Afghanistan into a western society of heels-wearing women and clean shaven men? Not that I recall.
What was the goal in the region?
To dismantle al-Qaeda and to deny it a safe base of operations in the country. To prevent Taliban from governing the country. Done!
A subsequent goal was to equip the Afghani government and army with reasonable skill to stabilize their country. If that hasn't been done to our satisfaction after 18 years, it ain't going to happen in the next 20 either.
If it's moral reasons and "what if" scenarios in this Islamic volcano we want to address with the comfort of American presence, than all the military budgets in the world would never be enough. There can never be a defined timeline, troops would stay on the ground indefinitely. Why? Because it's Islam. All 1400 years of it and responsible for 250,000,000 deaths around the world . Does anyone realistically think it can be rehabilitated? Has it ever been?
And let's face it; American presence is very strong in the Middle East. What do we think all those dollars are for when they annually flow to Israel's aid? For general health of the Jewish people because they're loved so much? Or to protect American interests? The United States, under Trump, has a $38 billion package of military aid for Israel over the next 10 years, the largest of its kind ever!
Which brings me to the only real concern Trump has in the region: Iran and its terror outreach proxy, Hezbollah. Now, is there anyone better to watch every move Ayatollahs make than Israel's Mossad? Does someone actually want to advance the idea that American foot soldier is needed in Syria because his very presence scares the daylights out of the neighboring uranium-mining Mullahs? ....LOL...
Shall we talk Vlad?
Russia makes no difference in this decision. The country (Russia) is financially decimated. It has no money . Its economic lifeline, always, is the sale of military weaponry to Iran and a $20 Billion energy deal. Axis of Evil will always be in cahoots with Putin and visa versa. They need each other geopolitically as well as economically. Whether Americans stay or go, nothing changes in that picture. Plus , Mossad watches every move of the Russia/Iran tango, be it from Moscow's Red square or every Iranian laundry-mat.
Are we upset about the Kurds, then? Certainly, who wouldn't be? But ask yourself, is the welfare of the Kurds enough political justification to fund an army in the region and risk American lives? Has that ever even been tabled for discussion in the House, on its own merit?
Kurds and their plight is terrible under any kind of Islam, not just the Turks. They've been attacked and threatened constantly and by everyone around them. Iraqis, ISiS, Turks, other growing Caliphate groups currently - this will never end until they're given their geographical sovereignty. And who exactly is about to grant them that...?
Do we want to help them? Most definitely! Today their main threat is Turkey, which is a NATO country. NATO needs to take full charge of this issue and take Turkey to task. Not that this will lift all Kurdish problems. Far from it. And if that's intolerable to us as human beings, than Americans might as well define a new foreign policy to ensue the safety of Kurdish people. In which case, the American army would never leave the region. Again, it's Islam we're talking about . There are thousands of caliphate seeking Islamists in the region who will prey (and do prey) on the Kurds. Are we prepared to babysit the Kurds indefinitely?
And what about Japan, South Korean and Germany as a parallel argument? After all, this is where Americans have a heavy military presence and always will. Apples & oranges to the situation in the Middle East.
First, all those countries are allies. Which means the soldiers are not in harms way and are very much wanted and needed there by host countries.
Second, the US is protecting its huge export market and all its economic ties with those countries. Can we say the same about Afghanistan and Syria? In the case of being on the ground in Europe, it's protecting its own interests, it's money well spent.
Third, the American military in Japan and South Korea, is there to counterbalance another axis of evil with nukes, North Korea.
Fourth, in case of Germany, the American military is there watching over Putin and his buddies. Ever since the Soviets decided to annex most of Germany for themselves post WW2, and more recently helped themselves to Ukraine, an American presence in the region is paramount.
So what do we have here? A moral question? A general fear for what will be if Trump changes status quo? A concern over a general state of affairs and what the future holds in the land of Islam? Are we concerned that Trump all of a sudden changes his spots and becomes indecisive and mousy (like Obama) when dealing with Mid East crises when they arrive?
You can't have a foreign policy based on "just in case". You can't keep funding boots on the ground for "just in case". And you certainly can't wait for Islam to smarten up and rehabilitate itself into stable sensible nation states.
An indefinite American presence in the region, with no clear goals or a concrete timeline is doomed to fail. Because the underpinning fundamentals of such a policy are predicated on Islam's bad behavior ceasing. At some point. ...In what pipe dream, exactly...?
Let's feel good remembering that Americans have a presence in the Middle East through Iraq and through Israel. And Afghanistan.
Let's not diminish the role second most powerful military force plays in all of this, and why it gets major funding from the US.
Thirdly, If American presence is needed, it will be there. No one on this green earth can stand in the way, including the bankrupt Russians. It's the mightiest power in the world. American boys can get back into the Middle East pressure cooker faster than Batman in his batmobile. When and if needed.
My two cents worth.
p.s. And frankly, the wall is badly needed. Think on that a minute, after you consider the inevitable upcoming decision by the Senate.
p.s. I know this is a contentious issue. I will read the comments but not necessarily answer them. It's an especially busy weekend for me. Thank you for all the comments in advance.
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