On Thursday, President Barack Obama announced airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria, becoming the 4th consecutive president to announce the bombing of Iraq. He made no mention that it was likely the United States’ intervention in 2003 that facilitated ISIS’s rise to power, as Senator Rand Paul noted in a recent interview with Meet the Press. No one can say in good faith that Iraq is a more stable place today after our decades of bombing campaigns and regime change.
The old adage that the definition of insanity is to repeat the same action over and over again while expecting different results. US foreign policy could then be accurately described as insane. And to the casual observer that doesn’t seem like too big of stretch of the imagination when you consider that in years past Senator John McCain, one of the biggest cheerleaders of the new Iraq war, was calling for the US to arm and train rebel groups in Syria, the very people who reportedly sold journalist Steven Sotloff to ISIS.
The insanity is further compounded in a recent Associated Press article where the author notes that airstrikes against Syrian rebels affiliated with ISIS would put the US government fighting on the same side as authoritarian dictator Bashar Assad. The author goes on:
“In an effort to avoid unintentionally strengthening the Syrian government, the White House could seek to balance strikes against the Islamic State with attacks on Assad regime targets. However, that option is largely unappealing to the president given that it could open the U.S. to the kind of long-term commitment to Syria’s stability that Obama has sought to avoid.”
Maybe the US is attempting to have the most incoherent and unintelligible foreign policy by design. President Obama said it himself during his initial press briefing that “we do not have a strategy…” This makes it hard if not completely impossible for anyone to defend against a military strategy that has no strategy.
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