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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.




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