Screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice shame on me.
To be honest, there’s been so much screwing since 2001, it would take a DNA test to figure out who fathered this bastard of foreign policy.
I recently wrote extensively about the cirque show that Afghanistan has become post-2003. A war fueled by private enterprise and personal gain of numerous four-star-ranked military leaders. They have profited heavily off their transition from active military to civilian defense industry boardrooms. They have encouraged, to this day, a war with no strategic importance for personal gain.
Any four-star that wants to debate this, I’ll gladly host a Zoom call for all Americans to attend.
Twenty years later, trillions of taxpayers’ dollars poured down the drain, thousands of American and coalition lives lost and we have little to show for it. The war transcended three presidents: Bush, Obama, and Trump.
And as if we didn’t have enough on our plate with Afghanistan, President Bush decided to fight two wars at once. He invaded Iraq on what we now know was bad intelligence regarding Saddam’s arsenal.
To look at things objectively, Saddam did use chemical weapons on his own people. So there was good reason to suspect that he did have weapons of mass destruction.
Even so, was it a good idea to fight a second war when we still hadn’t figured out our way with the first one?
The Bush-era came to an end and then Obama continued a very hawkish schizo foreign policy strategy abroad led by Mrs. Clinton’s Department of State.
Nobody is perfect but I’d score both of these Gents a D- on Foreign policy.
Why the low mark? Here’s a highlight reel.
Cirque de BuBama
- 20 years in Afghanistan with zero to show for it and no strategy behind 2003.
- Benghazi. Successfully destabilized Libya.
- No criteria for vetting rebel groups. Most we’ve supported are ideologically at odds with America. This goes back to whom we supported in Afghanistan against the USSR…
- Destabilization of Iraq kicks off ISIS, a civil war, a closed EU, and BREXIT
- Obama was the President to kill, via drone strike, Americans abroad, including a 16-year-old kid.
- Guantanamo Bay prison. Created to hold prisoners indefinitely without due process. (Are we in America or China, Toto?)
Obama, instead of coming up with a sound plan to clean up the mess Bush made of Iraq, just made the situation worse by pulling out and leaving a vacuum.
Note: A Special Ops source reported to me years ago that the invasion document he had hands-on was a thick three-ring binder, compared to the post-Iraq plan which was a few pages. Nothing like getting to the five-yard line and not having a plan to get into the end-zone.
Pulling out with no stabilization plan gave rise to ISIS and set the stage for civil war in Syria. All of the above would end up sending thousands of refugees into Europe and reversing the EU’s open border policy to one of closed borders and high fences.
Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq is way more important geopolitically. Pull out of Afghanistan and there’s relatively little effect to the region at large.
Iraq, however, is very important to regional stability. And as we’ve now seen, destabilize Iraq and you set the stage for three Tony-award-winning Broadway shows written and produced by the BuBama brothers:
- “Screw the Young Let’s BREXIT”
- “Wa Wa Land Syria”
- “Good Fence Good Neighbor EU”
As a combat veteran who loves America and has lost many friends since 9/11, both dead and the walking dead, I hope we can learn from our mistakes this time.
My time in Afghanistan was immediately following the terrorists attacks and had purpose because the Bush administration had laid out a sound plan. Wipe out the training camps, put the bad guys on the run. US and Coalition forces largely accomplished this before 2003. Beyond that it turned into my generations Vietnam.
Wars with no purpose leave walking dead, it’s the case now with so many in transition to civilian life struggling to make sense of the “why” of it all.
I support Biden’s plan, continuing Trump’s, to pull out of Afghanistan entirely.
Enough is enough. You can’t continuously throw good money after bad.
The time has come for American to rethink its foreign policy strategy, and make if clear and coherent so every American understands.
A well run business has a very clear mission, and every person understands what this is, from janitor on up.
Political leadership in this country need to start thinking like chess players instead of poker. You don’t bluff in chess; you move very strategically with end states in mind.
I’m writing this because it’s time we put aside childish partisan politics that our self-created political duopoly (Democrat vs. Republican) dishes out to us on a daily basis, and have a civil discourse with each other.
This conversation, and many more (education, healthcare, & looming economic collapse for starters) needs to happen in America.
After attending a special program for entrepreneurs at Harvard Business School, it’s clear to me: Sitting back and hoping our elected officials will solve these problems for us is like asking a group of five-year-olds to come up with a plan to shut down candy stores across America.
The time for solutions and dialog is now.