With all of this talk about the deficit, the budget and the upcoming debate about raising the debt ceiling you may have forgotten that we are currently waging war in three foreign countries. Unless you are among the few Americans that are actually fighting in these wars or has a family member or friend who is in the military, you probably are not giving them much thought. Only 1% of the American population is actively engaged in these conflicts. The remaining 99% of us go about our daily lives basically unaware of the struggle facing hundreds of thousands of Americans. That is a shame because these conflicts show no signs of ending. In fact there are signs that we may be engaged even longer than expected.
The New York Times reports Pakistan, our ally, has ordered the United States to remove the vast majority of CIA operatives and Special Operations forces working in their country. They have also ordered the US to stop all drone attacks aimed at militants in the northwest region. This order levels a severe blow to US efforts to stop the flow of terrorist forces, munitions and supplies into Afghanistan. If this flow continues uninterrupted it will force the US to ramp up its efforts in response.
While things are dicey in Afghanistan and now Pakistan the US is removing the last of its military forces from Iraq. That is of course unless the Iraqi government wants us to stay. The government has expressed concern that its military and police forces may not be ready to assume full responsibility for the security of the government. General Patreus has said that the US military would stay “as long as the Iraqi government wants us to.”
In Libya, NATO supported rebels seem to have reached a stalemate in their efforts to oust Gadhafi. It has been reported that Gahafi is willing to broker a cease fire as long as he is allowed to remain in power. The US is now adamant that Gadhafi must go. In spite of the President’s statements to the contrary, it is becoming more apparent that the only way to remove him will be by inserting US troops on the ground.
The Middle East is unraveling and the United States in becoming more and more entwined in the region. The success or failure of our Middle East policy rests on the whims of the corrupt and psychotic leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We have pumped billions upon billions of dollars into this effort with little measure of success. Americans are dying, their families suffering, our coffers are bare and there is no foreseeable end in sight.
One percent of those who might read this are well aware of the terrible toll that is being inflicted upon our country. We just thought the other 99% might want to know.