Over ten years of US Foreign Policy under Presidents Bush (W) and Obama has fueled a roaring fire of Islamic extremism throughout the globe. Politicians in DC on the right blame the left, and the left blames the right with both getting nothing much done other then drifting further away from Constitutional values America was founded on.
ISIS as an organization cannot be defeated by Obama’s current strategy of relying solely on Special Operations and drone kill lists. It’s like cutting the head off of the mythical Hydra, cut off one and two more grow back even stronger. The virus of Radical Islam has spread across the globe since 9-11, and what’s helped spread the disease has been a US foreign policy strategy that is short-sighted and short on long-term solutions—not to mention it’s incoherent to most Americans. For any plan to work it has to be simple and understood by all.
Radical Islam is not an organization, it’s an ideology rooted in extremism, it has to be stomped out at its root. To do anything short of this is like a doctor focused on treating symptoms with no regard for a patient’s long term health.
- al Qaeda (Global cells including America and the UK)
- Armed Islamic Group of Algeria “GIA”
- ISIS (Middle East)
- Lashkar-e-Taiba (Pakistan)
- ISIL (Middle East)
- HAMAS (Middle East)
- Hezbollah (Middle East)
- al-Harakat al-Islammiyya (Southeast Asia)
- Pakistani Taliban
- Jammat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (Southeast Asia)
- Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna (Iraq)
The problem of radicalism needs real solutions and real leadership. Whacking off the heads of terrorist organizations is something JSOC and the Special Operations community has become very good at, however, it doesn’t solve the larger issue of the Hydra, and the kill list gets longer. Cut off the head of al-Qaeda, and enter ISIS, and a stronger post 9-11 Taliban. It’s time for real solutions and leadership, something that has been lacking in the polarized and bickering leadership of Washington, DC.
One solution a few of my friends have been discussing is the removal of the US military presence from the Middle East. The normalcy of American troops in the Middle East should be questioned. Arguing for a sustained US presence should include the absence of the safe flow of oil as a topic. Anyone who understands the fundamentals of economics knows that the flow of oil will not be interrupted by a Middle East that relies heavily on its trade.
A question my Special Ops veteran friends and I have been asking lately is, “What would happen if the US pulled out from all major military installations in the Middle East?” A fifth-grader could figure out that the large US military presence in the Middle East is inflammatory towards the Muslim community and is often used as a recruiting tool of radical Islam. The presence of the US military in the Middle East was a chief complaint of the now-dead UBL.
Regardless of the solutions presented, real and viable ones are needed now. America’s foreign policy plans of the past and present (both Democrat- and Republican-influenced) are not working, and the proof lies in the nightly news headlines that show a world on fire.