U.S. should stop its wars in Middle East

Zach Fix

For nearly nine years, the United States has been overseas fighting wars that most people who are not directly affected by seem to have forgotten about. But I cannot forget about these wars, because one of my friends has to walk with  a cane since his service Iraq. I was pleased to see that the Obama administration is withdrawing our troops from this quagmire of a war; however, even after the seven years the United States has spent in Iraq, our government still thinks it’s a good idea to continue invading and influencing sovereign countries. According to a CNN poll, six out of ten Americans oppose the war in Afghanistan. With this being said, is a troop surge into Afghanistan the right decision?

I have been asking myself from the beginning of these wars, why is our government still policing the world? Since our involvement in the Middle East after 9/11, the government has been getting itself involved in needless conflicts. The United States’ involvement in the Middle East has been nothing but problematic. Now, with more troops than ever in Afghanistan, our country is continuing to create more problems for itself.

The United States should look to history to see that this decision is a mistake. In the 1800s, the British tried to colonize Afghanistan with little success and were run out after many fruitless years of war. At the time of the British involvement in Afghanistan, the British had one of the most powerful military forces in the world and were run out. The same thing happened to the former Soviet Union when it invaded Afghanistan in 1979. The United States should learn a lesson from history and realize that foreign influence is the last thing that  Afghani people want. Also, I recall another country that was fighting off British imperialism … oh, wait, that’s us. I find it ironic that a country that was birthed from rebellion against a foreign power is now invading a sovereign country.

I would argue that the United States’ involvement in the Middle East is going to cause more violence and more terrorism.  Imagine some other country invading our own. I don’t think I can grasp what it would be like, considering that I am a born and raised Yooper, and the closest I have come to a war zone is the start of hunting season. Still, I can imagine that having bombs land in my backyard would not be a pleasant experience. With more than 11,000 civilians killed within the past six months, it’s no surprise that the Afghani people are wishing for our troops to leave or, as it has been the case throughout history, forcing them to. In John Mercer’s article “Presence in Iraq beneficial,” he stated, “Soldiers on the ground are our most vital diplomats.” No diplomat solves a conflict with bullets or bombs, but with words and compromise. If the United States wishes to improve relations with Afghanistan, we must withdraw our troops and let the Afghani government make its own decisions.

The best course of action for our government is to go back to its policy of non-interventionism. The United States in World War II had a policy of non-interventionism. Our country was attacked and we had to use military force. After World War II our country has changed its foreign policy to needless intervention and needless loss of life. Korea and Vietnam are perfect examples of this, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are simply echoes of this flawed policy.

Iraq and Afghanistan did not bomb the world trade center, terrorists did. This was an attack on our citizens but there are plenty of countries that are harboring terrorists that the U.S. is not at war with. I am not saying that we should isolate ourselves, but using military force should be our last option. Instead of wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on a war that is just creating more problems, think of better ways to spend it. Our military’s budget is $623 billion dollars. Given the current state of the economy, it is ridiculous for the U.S. to be spending like this. At the time that I am writing this article, the U.S. debt clock is at $13,584,802,000,000. I checked this on Wednesday, Oct. 13, and by the time this paper is in your hands, it has already exponentially risen. Instead of spending this money fighting overseas, how about we use it for our citizens. Think about how much that money could do. We need a military to serve and protect Americans instead of police the world.