Monday, January 11, 2010
Yemen - Will It Become the Next Intervention?
Those who have followed Rational Nation USA know that I have not been supportive of most of Barrack Obama's initiatives or policy since he became President. However, when the President is sounding the correct message it is only just to acknowledge he is doing so.
With Yemen taking front stage because of terrorist activity in that country, one has to wonder if this will be the next front in the war on terror. I suppose only time will tell, but if the history of U.S military intervention on foreign soils over the last sixty years is used as a barometer one must bet it will be.
The President however, at least at this early stage, is sending the right message. He said in an interview with People magazine that he has no plans to send troops to Yemen because he believes that working with international partners in the war against terror is the most effective means at this point.
The President said, "I have no intention of sending U.S. boots on the ground in these regions." He went on to add, "I have every intention of working with our international partners in lawless areas around the globe to make sure that we're keeping the American people safe." These are prudent and correct actions to take.
The United States, according to Ron Paul in his 2008 book "The Revolution, A Manifesto", has troops in 130 countries. We should all begin to ask ourselves two serious questions. The first is, can we afford this drain on our national economy? The second, a two point question is, should the United States be the worlds policeman, and is it possible and in fact likely in our efforts to do so we have alienated many because of our interventionist policies.
For those who might think I am suggesting the U.S. should turn isolationist nothing could be further from the truth. Isolationism and interventionism are two different things entirely. The U.S. should remained engaged in international trade and discussions with nations over common issues. We should not, however, intervene with a military presence or use of force anytime someone either asks for our help, or worse we unilaterally decide others need our help.
These questions need to be considered with open minds. Ultimately they need to be answered. Our national economic well being is at stake, and the issue of terrorist activity may well be partially, if not in large share a result of our interventionist policies in the world. Our rhetoric, combined with our actions (especially Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, although not limited to only these examples) may well have resulted in the world becoming a less safe place and certainly our country becoming a huge debtor nation and therefor less wealthy.
Now back to President Obama. As I said earlier there has not been much I have found to support in his policies. However, if he remains true to his statements with respect to Yemen (and Somalia) I shall stand behind and support his position.
The comment that gives some concern is his qualifier, "I never rule out any possibility in a world that is this complex ..." As a nation we should encourage our leaders to look at all possible means of resolving conflicts through exhaustive, realistic, and honest diplomatic means. The only morally justifiable reason for the use of force against another sovereign nation is in response to an act of aggression. This is why intervention and military action in Afghanistan after 911 was justified. It is also why, in hindsight, the invasion of Iraq was not.
Before the United States becomes involved in further military action anywhere in the world we need to be certain, at least as much as it is possible to be, that our action will not further inflame the situation, and that we can in fact resolve it quickly and with the least loss of life and economic resources.
Read details in, Politico44, and The Washington Post.