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Syria really examplifies the terrible incoherent state of Western (American, secondly EU) foreign policy.

There is really a need for change; unfortunately it is a bit hard to see where that will be coming from at the moment.




The way I analogize the US interventions in the Middle East is to liken it to a gambler who keeps going back to the table for "one more hand", because his "luck is sure to turn this time."

Can anyone name a single US intervention in the Middle East that hasn't backfired on us in some way? Propping up the Shah of Iran backfired on us in the form of the Iranian Revolution. Propping up the Saudi regime led to a safe haven for militant Wahabi Islam. Our interventions in Iraq led first to a massacre of Kurds and Shia, and later to a civil war that was directly responsible for the creation of Islamic State. Our intervention in Libya led to another civil war that has turned a major oil producing country into essentially a failed state. Our intervention in Syria hasn't helped matters, and has only brought us into further confrontation with Russia, while simultaneously discrediting our ability to hold intransigent dictators to account for their crimes.

And yet we keep going back, to exert our "leadership".


The problem isn't Western diplomacy, but rather colonial interests. Too often does it oppress populations even when it doesn't immediately start conflicts. In any case, you might want to go farther back to the British and French fracturing much of the Arab world in the first place with shortsighted partitions (Palestine, Syria, etc.)


I agree that the British and French interventions had a large part to play in the creation of ethnically-divided, weakly governed states that were prone to either falling into civil war or being ruled by various brutal strongmen (or both!). But unlike the British and the French, the US doesn't have the same historical ties to the Middle East that conventional European powers do. We, unlike the Europeans, have much more of a choice as to whether to intervene. And this is why it perplexes me that the US chooses to intervene so often. In fact, we intervene more than the former colonial powers who used to rule that area in the first place. How does your "colonial interests" hypothesis address that fact?


Well, I suppose that the grandparent is suggesting is that the USA is now a kind of colonial power in the area. That explain also the need to intervene.


Yes, I was implying that colonialism is what explains European and now US involvement in the region, or really any region for that matter (see South America, India/Pakistan, China/Japan/South Korea). Being a colonial power requires maintaining colonies, which sometimes requires working against the best interests of the colonized, which induces instability in the colonies.


The interventions haven't at all backfired on the military industrial complex, it has in fact fired on all cylinders and you can tell they're craving the next one.


I'm not sure I agree with that assertion either. Frankly, the military industrial complex makes a lot more profit from selling weapons for conventional war than they do from selling weapons for unconventional guerilla wars. You don't need F-22s, F-35s, DDXs, Virginia-class submarines, etc. to blow up tents and pickup trucks in Syria and Yemen. You need them to fight against other sophisticated, first world conventional militaries.

If you look at what the military-industrial complex talks about when they're hyping their capabilities, it's all about China and Russia. Sure, they pay lip service to "asymmetric warfare", but their main focus has been on keeping the US military's capabilities ahead of other emerging conventional militaries, not fighting insurgencies. In fact, the most successful anti-insurgency tools, like the Predator drone and MRAP armored trucks have been created over the objections of the military industrial complex (who want to make more sophisticated, expensive weapons).


> Frankly, the military industrial complex makes a lot more profit from selling weapons for conventional war than they do from selling weapons for unconventional guerilla wars

I think they would be on the forefront of fanning the flames of war with China, if they thought the public had the stomach for it. Instead, they have to make do with the few smaller,unconventional wars, continuously. When was the last time the US of A was not engaged in combat somewhere in the world?

Surely, having your poorly trained 'moderate' rebels surrender their arms and munitions frequently is good for business. Now you get to resupply them (at American tax-payers expense), and indirectly supply arms to both sides of the conflict. It's almost genius - and barbaric.


> When was the last time the US of A was not engaged in combat somewhere in the world?

I want to guess December 6th 1941.


For better or worse a Trump presidency would almost certainly be a fundamental rewrite of the way the U.S. government functions in the world.


The truth is no one knows what Trump will actually do. Trump can say whatever he wants during its campaign it doesn't matter. No one knows what he will do if he ever gets elected. All people know is that he is a business man with a big ego, he isn't even a conservative at all, he is the pure product of the New York upper class culture.

Hillary on the other is as hawkish as they come, this was demonstrated through her emails. She is a neo-con.


Isn't "when it comes to foreign policy" about the only way to be a neocon as opposed to just conservative? That was my impression at least.


>Hillary on the other is as hawkish as they come, this was demonstrated through her emails. She is a neo-con.

Yep, and Democratic voters are happily voting for her over anti-war Bernie. This really says something about Democratic voters, doesn't it?


Plus Trump has a fascinating way to reduce his program to a few slogans he repeats over and over and lets everyone else interpret what he really means...


Trump seems keen to do a deal with Putin. We'd probably go back to US and Russian sponsored dictators.


Yes.

That may be true.

However; I do (still) find it unlikely that Trump will be the next president. And I am also not quite sure what his foreign policies will be.

Another big change may come from Britain's exit from the EU (also something I find unlikely). This will be the end of EU as it is today. And will probably lead to a more protectionist and less interventionalist foreign policy regime across the board.


> This will be the end of EU as it is today.

Amen.


The EU needs reform. However, historically Europe engaged in very nasty wars every few years. A fractured isolationist non-corporative set of European states could be very bad for all of us.


I am not sure if you realize the role of Euro in the rise of extremism in the EU.

The fact that the EU is ruled by political midgets played a najor role too.


Trump is a mystery (maybe that's the allure). Who is going to be his secretary of state?


Especially considering that most of the people grumbling about this now are going to obediently vote the Secretary of State on whose watch it happened into the Presidency in November. Nothing's going to change.


Hopefully not. There are 147 FBI agents working on her investigation.

I must say that the handling of her case has boosted my faith in the internal integrity of the US government.




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