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It's A Gray Area: U.S. should not intervene overseas

August 09, 2013|By James P. Gray

One of the first things done when our country was founded in 1787 was establish the United States Department of War. This agency lasted until 1947, when it was re-organized and re-named the U.S. Department of Defense. But given our history since that time, the title of U.S. Department of Offense would have been more appropriate.

Since 1947, the United States has intervened militarily on more than 40 separate occasions in foreign countries. In addition to the more well-known actions like Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, that list also includes Guatemala, Iran, Cuba, Indonesia, Chile, El Salvador, Grenada, Colombia, Haiti and Somalia. Some of those interventions have produced good and lasting results, but many have produced lasting disasters.

Some of those disasters are out in the open. For example, many people in Iran still hate our government for having deposed its legitimately-elected government in 1953 and imposed the Shah upon them. Similarly, the situations in Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan in many ways speak for themselves. But other disastrous results are far less visible.

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For example, although a large number of people around the world still love America and Americans, they do not like or trust our government because of its interventionist policies. So in many ways we would probably be a lot safer today had we never intervened in many of those places.

Similarly, one of the few positive results of our invasion of Iraq was that Muammar Gaddafi of Libya gave up his country's possession of nuclear weapons. So in "gratitude" what did we do? Within just a short time we attacked him and caused him to be killed! What kind of lesson will other despots around the world take away from that?

So now in Afghanistan, after many years of our troops fighting and occupying that land, what is the status? For the most part, the Afghans hate us. In order to obtain some amount of security and stability, we have supported Hamid Karzai's administration, which has been about as corrupt as it could have been. Maybe it is corrupt by necessity, but the end results remain.

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