America’s Never-Ending War | Project Syndicate

Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research writes:

It is time for the US to recognize that since it launched its war on terror, the scourge has only spread. The Afghanistan-Pakistan belt has remained “ground zero” for transnational terrorism, and once-stable countries like Libya, Iraq, and Syria have emerged as new hubs.

….Making matters worse, Obama plans to use the same tactics to fight the Islamic State that led to its emergence: authorizing the CIA, aided by some of the region’s oil sheikhdoms, to train and arm thousands of Syrian rebels. It is not difficult to see the risks inherent in flooding the Syrian killing fields with even more and better-armed fighters.

The US may have some of the world’s top think tanks and most highly educated minds. But it consistently ignores the lessons of its past blunders – and so repeats them. US-led policies toward the Islamic world have prevented a clash between civilizations only by fueling a clash within a civilization that has fundamentally weakened regional and international security.

An endless war waged on America’s terms against the enemies that it helped to create is unlikely to secure either steady international support or lasting results…..The risk that imperial hubris accelerates, rather than stems, Islamist terror is all too real – yet again.

Read more at America’s Never-Ending War by Brahma Chellaney – Project Syndicate.

2 Replies to “America’s Never-Ending War | Project Syndicate”

  1. The central question still seems to be related to whether you wait until you are attacked or do you proactively respond to terrorism before the attack. In the U.S. the question is do you want the Port Authority Police fighting them in New York City or the U.S. Army fighting them in Iraq. Obama’s unwillingness to assume a longer term role in Iraq and the unwillingness to participate in Syria has created a vacuum that was filled very quickly. Now he is finally responding to polls showing the American public finally realizing that ISIL is a danger and needs to be addressed. Obama is a politician with a 3rd grade understanding of the world and looks at all problems for their impact on U.S. politics. Stumbling, bumbling George Bush not only defeated AQ in Iraq but he got most of the geopolitical questions correct. Obama has talked and talked about a world that doesn’t exist except in his own mind. In all these talks, Obama stresses the political correctness (e.g. U.S. is a Muslim country) and neglects any real world considerations. And Libya, Egypt under the Brotherhood, Syria, Iraq, Crimea, China close to violence with Japan et. al. and the ever present Iran on the brink are the result.

    1. “The central question still seems to be related to whether you wait until you are attacked or do you proactively respond to terrorism before the attack.”

      To me, the central question is: How do you proactively respond to terrorism? This requires a combination of soft and hard power. Doctors and engineers win more hearts and minds than B52s. When these fail, then as Margaret Thatcher said: “Interventions must be limited in number and overwhelming in their impact.” But most importantly, is to attack their support base. Find who is supporting a terrorist group, with cash or weapons, and punish them (severely). This is always politically difficult because many of these groups are state-sponsored. We are effectively fighting an undeclared war, fought through proxies — whether separatists in Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova; Al Qaeda, ISIL or Syrian rebels; or the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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