Q&A Friday #58: How Will Iraq Impact Future Military Action In The War On Terror?

Question: “Have our difficulties in Iraq crippled future presidents from using military action for disarming dangerous regimes or pursuing terrorists?” — WSOwen02

Answer: No, but it will probably change how we operate in a number of different foreign policy areas. For example,

* Peace keeping missions in places like Kosovo, Somalia, and Haiti? The resistance level to those sorts of missions is going to increase dramatically. After all, there’s nothing in any of those countries worth risking a single American life over and after the bad experience Americans have had in Iraq, they’re not going to be anxious to put American troops on the ground anywhere they have to get in between two opposing forces.

* After seeing how unhelpful most other countries have been in the Iraq war, I think we’re going to become more isolationist. When someone says, we need to use our military to help Country X, if there’s not a tie-in to our national interest, I think a lot of people are going to say, “What did they do for us in Iraq?” If the answer is nada, and it is in most cases, I don’t think we’re going to be very anxious to help them. This could possibly have repercussions for nations like Taiwan and South Korea, that rely on us to safeguard their freedom.

* I think we’re going to be less committed to democracy in the Middle-East if Iraq doesn’t work out and we’ll probably go back to the old Cold War view on the leadership in the nations over there, “He may be a son of a b*tch, but he’s our son of a b*tch.”

I can guarantee you that if we knew then, what we know now, we would have simply found some general to run Iraq and we would have put him in charge after we got rid of Saddam, instead of trying to build a democracy over there.

* Although we won’t be anxious to invade another country, we will still be willing to bomb them and we may even be much more punitive in that area than we have been in the past because we’re less likely to take the next step and send in the troops.

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