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PostRecent US Foreign Policy (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 09/23/12 2:12 pm)
Reading Randy Black's 23 September posting, loaded with one-sided criticism of the Obama administration's foreign activities, reminded me that the seeds for failure in that region were planted decades ago. On 15 June 2008 I wrote, "If we are talking about massive conflicts of one civilization clashing against another, such as the Cold War, African slavery, the crusades, etc., then the present Judeo/Christian versus Islam conflict is as big as the Cold War and much bigger than the present WAIS postings are reflecting. The essentially Israeli agents who for the last several years have guided American Middle East foreign policy have been too narrow-minded strategically. By hoping for an easy victory against the nasty Iraqi dictator instead of an obviously justified but more drawn-out attack on Al Qaeda, they made a huge mistake. The hoped-for Judeo/Christian clash against Islamic fundamentalism hell bent on destroying Israel and its allies is turning instead into a clash with broader Islam. Anyone with at least three neurons left knows that we will lose such a clash for two very basic reasons: 1. The Islamic camp can bleed us to death by just playing good/bad cop just as Mubarak, Musharraf, etc. have been doing by helping the US fight Al Qaeda. 2. Islamic countries have long standing cooperation with a redefined third world: Russia, China, etc., which represent an increasingly important strategic component in the Judeo/Christian versus Islam clash of civilizations."
Some of the major actors have changed, but the theme and story plot remains basically the same. Our motivation to control the region through political manipulation, military action and assistance (to protect corporate oil and arms manufacturers' interests, and Israel), seems to be expensive, ineffective, and even counterproductive. Now instead of a relatively stable Egypt, Pakistan, Libya, and Syria, we have wild hornet nests throughout the region. The only apparent good news is that now we are mostly out of Iraq, even though Iran seems to be sharing the benefits from that. Last, as planned by the late Osama Bin Laden, our enemies in the region now can rest easier knowing that we are financially broke and tired of wars to "build" someone else's countries. Even Obama's sneaky drone attacks seems to produce more strategic harm than good results. Perhaps it is time to change long-standing policy to something else more productive in the long run.
JE comments: Here's the link to Tor Guimaraes's post cited above (15 June 2008):
US Use of Drones and UAVs
(Bienvenido Macario, USA
09/24/12 8:47 AM)
Tor Guimaraes wrote on 23 September:
"Obama's sneaky drone attacks seems to produce more strategic harm than good results. Perhaps it is time to change long-standing policy to something else more productive in the long run."
The UAV/Drone program was in service even before Obama was elected president, and the significant opposition to the use of drones comes from the Taliban. I don't know if Afghanistan's President Karzai is against the use of drones. With regards to foreign policy, I think the Obama administration doesn't see the need to change the policy. Perhaps through the US Congress committee on foreign relations, changes could be effected.
JE comments: David A. Westbrook has written at length about America's reliance on drone warfare, with the conclusion that its strategic liabilities overshadow any tactical benefit. But (domestic) politics overshadow strategy: for the US public, drones are an expedient way to engage the enemy with no risk to ourselves.
In a more innocent age, video games were based on war. Now it's the other way around. I hope General Sullivan and General DeLong will join this conversation.
Isn't Pakistan, to cite one example, an ardent critic of the US drone policy?