WASHINGTON, September 9, 2014 — Just two days away from the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the United States once again finds itself embroiled and knee deep in the mess and much that is World politics. In the last three years we have seen numerous earth shattering events take place throughout the world. And in the last few weeks, further developments have taken place to give us all pause. Russia has invaded Ukraine, Libya is overrun by Islamic radicals, the Syrian Civil War wages on, and out of that conflict, ISIS has invaded Iraq and is gaining strength.
All of these foreign policy issues currently facing the United States share one thing in common: These are all problems of our own making.
In our eagerness to prove to the World that the days of wanton invasion and illegal war making are behind us, in an effort to display to the Muslim World that we are willing to pay for our previous transgressions, the United States has embarked on a haphazard campaign with the single aim of destabilizing all of North Africa and the Middle East. The direct result of this campaign is the weakening of the ability of the United States to project power around the World.
The power of a great nation, or of any empire, has always been the ability to project strength. Any potential enemy of the United States must know the full measure that we are willing to go, but we should rarely have to use that full measure. However, lately our full measure leaves much to be desired, and few afraid of American retribution.
In North Africa, the United States backed an Egyptian revolution which saw the Muslim Brotherhood swept into power, if only for a brief moment. In Libya, the US and NATO supported a revolution which saw the deposition of a longtime dictator, only to supplant one kind of terror for another as radical Islamists ravage the country. In Syria, so eager are we to appear to be the valiant friends of the Arab Spring that we backed the Opposition group knowing full well that among them were our most hated enemies. And now, our support for ISIS in Syria has allowed them the ability to launch campaigns into Iraq to seize territory and form local governments.
All of this has weakened our ability to project strength around the World, while invited our foes to fill the gap of the power we have so freely conceded. As the United States balks from the World stage, Russia eagerly fills the vacuums of power our departure has created. With an unwilling European Union, and a United States reluctant to do anything that isn’t popular among NATO or the World, Russia has summarily invaded and partitioned a sovereign nation in the name of adherence to international law. It is because the United States cannot cast the light and power it once did, or because we are not willing to, that Russia has assumed the position of torch bearer, and redraws the lines of the World as it sees fit.
We supported ISIS among the Syrian Opposition. We withdrew from Iraq without thought as to the aftermath, creating massive instability.
We created and fostered the ideal situation by which a radical Islamic group can take power over a weakened nation. Yet we somehow stand befuddled and outraged when a group such as ISIS seizes land and power, burning their way through Syria and Iraq, as if we did not provide them a light for their torches.