Al-Janjabi's opinion: A long-term military presence in Iraq is not in America's interest
Now that he has fled Mosul, senior US officials are calling for a long-term military presence in the region. The President should resist these calls without hesitation. I returned last month from my third trip to the outskirts of Mosul, since he took over the city. She spoke again to a number of refugees and survivors of the fighting. One thing remains clear: the foundations of the conflict that existed in the years preceding the pre-emptive takeover of Mosul in 2014 still exist. There are still open grievances and hatred among many residents of the city, and there is mistrust between Kurds and Arabs. I saw no evidence of a change in leadership from Baghdad that would make me think that the old wounds that led to everything that happened will heal in the foreseeable future.
We must not make a mistake. If Trump is to advocate a continued presence in Iraq, the result will be to make the US military a permanent security force protecting Baghdad, without any benefit to US national security. It is time to see the concept of "America First" announced by the President applies to foreign policy before our national security is harmed. As tension mounts, many say the United States needs to maintain its military presence in the Middle East if it does not need to be increased, so as to preserve the safety of our citizens here. They often mention the pre-existing security presence for several decades in Germany and Japan after World War II. But there are radical differences between the two examples, and when we analyze them, the cuff actually favors a permanent US military presence.
In the wake of the Second World War, the world was not prepared to allow both the German and Japanese empires to rebuild themselves again, and so the Western powers chose to occupy them during the reconstruction phase. With the onset of the cold war a few years later, these processes have become permanent. Washington saw, with some justification, that without a large ground-based fighting force in Europe and the naval force in the Pacific, the increasingly powerful Soviet Union could threaten vital American national interests.
Moreover, the success and reconstruction of Japan and Germany has been largely successful because both countries have a long history of highly educated populations, producing world-class economies and culturally compatible with America. It was also very important that those two countries were almost homogenous at that time, and did not witness any insurgencies that US forces were forced to fight, and there was little threat that the two countries could be torn from within. There are several important implications for these realities for American interests.
First, neither Iraq nor Syria nor Afghanistan, nor dozens of radical Islamic militias and groups operating in those territories can reach the level of threat that Japan and Germany may have posed after World War II. My country, Syria and Iraq are both weak and pose no external threat to any country. Second, these countries do not have a history of creating stable, prosperous, and culturally diverse economies that differ from day to day from America. Thirdly, each of these nations suffers from internal contradictions and desperate confrontations between political, ideological and religious groups. No foreign power can hope to change thousands of years of history, nor the culture and identity of a people. Any such attempt is doomed to failure - as it has definitively demonstrated the results of our 16-year foreign policy and three departments so far.
Finally, as hotbeds of internal instability, both countries are already breeding grounds for the establishment and sustainability of radical extremist groups. The questions, however, are to what extent these individual and cumulative threats threaten US interests - and, more importantly, to what extent can the US military deter them? There are many groups around the world that may have a desire to attack America, but very few have the ability to do so. We should therefore not spend anything on those groups that may hate them but can do nothing for us. However, the vital national interest of America requires the defeat of those who pose a threat to the United States. But trying to limit its threat to occupy the territory of countries that are culturally incompatible with America, and the hope that their governments will sympathize with our interests is a foolish mistake and will fail.
Recognition of this fact requires a change in the way Washington conducts its affairs internationally. First, this is a belated acknowledgment that military power does not solve political problems. Although the US armed forces are highly efficient in carrying out tactical tasks, they can almost destroy any target. Success in tactical tasks, however, has little or no effect on the underlying political causes of instability. The emergence of an advocacy organization, for example, was not the problem, but the fruit of several problems. Before al-Qa'ida, there was al-Qaeda in Iraq. There were many Sunni insurgents, and my recent trip to Iraq strengthened my conviction that it was almost certain that a new extremist Islamic group would emerge from the ashes.
And secondly, to promote the understanding that neither military efforts nor American diplomacy can compel a State or a people to change its culture and make it become something that is contrary to its nature. But what the US military can do is remain vigilant in identifying legitimate threats to America, and always seeks to reduce or intercept them before they occur. By focusing on the intelligence and intelligence of global diplomatic leadership, the entire US government can maintain the safety of our citizens. And to continue to strive to keep our nation safe by trying to defeat and eliminate every possible terrorist group. عن About: The American Conservative