On Monday night in Syria, U.S. planes began bombing ISIS targets, in addition to a couple of al Qaeda affiliates (they just keep popping up, don’t they?).
This action is only the most visible and recent part of what has become a comprehensive strategic disaster for the United States. Despite not being able to articulate any sort of logical strategy, let alone any actually compelling interest for what we’re doing, we’re stumbling into yet another boneheaded, open-ended conflict in the Middle East.
We’re going to regret this.
First, we’re basically alone among liberal democracies. In the documentary The Fog of War, Robert McNamara, the repentant architect of the Vietnam War, laid out one of his guidelines for the wise use of military force:
What makes us omniscient? Have we a record of omniscience? We are the strongest nation in the world today. I do not believe that we should ever apply that economic, political, and military power unilaterally. If we had followed that rule in Vietnam, we wouldn’t have been there. None of our allies supported us. Not Japan, not Germany, not Britain or France. If we can’t persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we’d better reexamine our reasoning. [The Fog of War]
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