Debate:What should current US Mideast policy be?

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What should the US's current foreign policy in the Middle-East be? Who should we support and oppose, and why? What should be our overarching goal, if any? Should we stay out entirely? Pbfreespace3 (talk) 21:11, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

something something nuclear something something glass FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 21:37, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Boots on the ground, tanks on the ground and whatever else on the ground and in the air to take out ISIS and maybe a couple more radical groups, followed by disarmament of all combatants and then a complete withdrawal of all military presence. (talk) 22:19, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
That would require millions of troops. If you were dictator, sure, but how are you going to get a Western population to go along with that? Vietnam almost got as bad as to have a revolution. You'd be threatening your power, especially after the US's recent interventions. What political entities would you set up in ISIS's place? Pbfreespace3 (talk) 22:24, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Nah, ISIS's territorial control is waning and their forces aren't that numerous. The preparations might take some time, but once underway the operation need only take a couple weeks. A mass invasion of the small area under ISIS's control; you take out the hostile agents, confiscate all weapons and get out again as fast as possible. And don't set up anything in its place. Just let the humanitarian-aid people in to take care of the basic necessities and local and international powers can figure out the politics in the aftermath. (talk) 22:54, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
At this point, any type of American action (or inaction) can be construed negatively. The only way to turn the bad reputation around is through a decisive success. It doesn't matter what the people want right now, only how they'll feel about it once they see the results. (talk) 23:02, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

I'm with 142/141 (a rare sight). A short decisive victory, though it would be expensive and involve deaths, would hugely bump up Obama and the US's standing -- which, in turn, would help Dems win 2016 and the US work with reform movements in the MidEast. oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ (talk/stalk) 15:39, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

I'd continue to support America's traditional foreign policy of disengagement with the Old World's tribal conflicts. I'd immediately suspend all aid, arms sales, and heavy equipment sales to Israel until Netanyahu puts forth a credible plan for removing the West Bank Jewish settlements -- i.e. something he'd never do. To the extent that we're seen as the enablers of disproportionate Israeli reprisals against minor Palestinian provocations, the Israeli government makes the USA look bad. I'd unconditionally pull out of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria; let Daesh conquer as they will. Unless they seek to provoke the United States, it ain't our fight. If they do provoke the United States and force military action, I'd respond not only with tanks and bombs but with settlers and reservations. I'd also withdraw from South Korea unless City of Heroes comes back. And absolutely nothing in the Spratly Islands is worth a single American life. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 15:46, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
"I'd unconditionally pull out of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria; let Daesh conquer as they will. Unless they seek to provoke the United States, it ain't our fight."
You do realize what this entails, right? If we left ISIS alone, it would grow stronger, overrun Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Libya; and spread to neighboring areas. That would be utterly unacceptable. We would be left with a situation like Japan and Germany when we joined the war: forced to fight an enemy that is almost our equal on their ground. True, we won those wars, but just barely. We depended on the willingness of others to give everything they had to the fight, and even then the war could've been lost if battles like Midway and Stalingrad were lost. Tens of millions died that might've been saved if Japan or Germany were swiftly dealt with as we saw them growing. I think disengagement, as appealing as it might seem given our recent wars, is still worse than invading the place. That's how bad the situation is. Pbfreespace (talk) 03:04, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
If we leave the Kurds to their fate like we left Ethiopia and Spain to their fate in the 1930s, the next on the list will be us and our allies. Laurogeita Hamabost (talk) 16:09, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
I do think that we should help the Kurds, and while I agree with what we're doing now, I also think additional support should be given (anti-aircraft/tank missiles, tanks, modern airplanes). We should help them gain their own united country under US protection, similar to what we did with Israel. Right now, near a town in Syria called Manbij, the US is helping the Kurds rapidly advance and secure a vital, nearly intractable position in Syria and the future of the Middle-East. PBfreespace (talk) 02:59, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
It should be an iron law of European and US foreign policy to support secular, democratic, feminist movements wherever they occur and whether or not they may hurt the bottom line of some multinational corporation in the short term or not. Unfortunately this seems to be too much to ask of a capitalist society... Laurogeita Hamabost (talk) 15:43, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
European, maybe. Islamic radicalism is of course a greater threat to Europe than it is to the USA. We don't even buy that much oil from Saudi Arabia; Europe and Japan do. We Americans are told that we have to forego social welfare in order to fund a huge military force to fight Muslims on the other side of the world. We do it so Europe doesn't have to. This grows tiresome. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 15:49, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
I am surprised that Smerdis seems to be the loner here. The US will never make any more progress than they already have in Afghanistan and they are already losing that progress as we speak. The Afghan national police are a cartel that terrorizes the people there and the ANA isn't much better. The government is extremely corrupt and the Taliban have kept tax collectors out. We have spent more "rebuilding" Afghanistan than we did rebuilding all of Europe. I can't tell if that is Poe's law above me but the mere suggestion that we can somehow force the Islamists out by destroying them is disturbing. If ISIL does fall apart (structurally not territorially) then they will splinter into more groups that will follow their successful organizational model. If we were to invade with ground troops we may force Al-Qaeda and ISIL to reluctantly join together in order to fight The Great Satan.™ We have supported Tunisia but if we flood their country with weapons we risk turning them back into an autocratic society; the same claim can be made about Iraqi Kurdistan since I don't particuraly trust the Barzani family not to become a bunch of oligarchs.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 03:15, 10 June 2016 (UTC) 03:15, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

What kinds of governments should we support?[edit]

Laurogeita Hamabost said we should support secular, democratic, feminist movements wherever they occur. My question for LH is: which movements in the Middle-East fit those standards? Which Arab Spring revolutions qualify? Because I would not consider many to be secular, or even Democratic for that matter. Can you list them? Perhaps explain why you consider them to be good? Also, can others lay out their standards for people that deserve our support? PBfreespace (talk) 00:35, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

A big problem I have with US involvement in the Middle East is that there don't seem to me to be any good guys there. Certainly not the Israelis, and not anyone else either. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 16:01, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
For instance the Saudi women getting behind the wheel despite laws to the contrary. Or the blogger sentenced to flogging. Or the Kurds. There are many individuals who are persecuted for expressing their opinion and many of those people hold opinions that are very much in line with Western democracy. The US supposedly threatened to bail out any American imprisoned for war crimes under foreign law. If need be by military might. Why can't the US do that for people arrested for peaceful protest? Laurogeita Hamabost (talk) 18:23, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Who says anything about governments?[edit]

You don't have to support any government. You can also support (or fight) non-government actors... Laurogeita Hamabost (talk) 22:48, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Who is the 'you' here? What I don't get is why the USA should be supporting (or fighting) anybody in the Middle East. Even without the fact that our interventions only make things worse. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 02:04, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Intervention worked in Bosnia. Then again, we were on the same side as proto Al-Qaeda.... CorruptUser (talk) 02:46, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Well Bosnia is split between 2 federalized republics and ethnic tension hasn't really subsided.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 03:04, 10 June 2016 (UTC) 03:04, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
But the genocide has. CorruptUser (talk) 03:17, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Agree with CorruptUser here. Now back to my initial question:
Ignore governments then, I'm talking about all groups and factions. For those here that believe the US should be involved, who should we work to support and why? PBfreespace (talk) 03:19, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, CU, I think the Bosnian intervention was for the best and I think we should've intervened in Rwanda, though, I am sure some will debate that the genocide would've ended in the same way. I am just pointing out that there will always be unintended consequences to every intervention. Well, we ought to support the Kurds, Jordanians, and Tunisians directly but, like I said above, overflowing those factions with weapons risks leading them to autocracy. The Assyrians have long feared the Kurds taking power over them, Jordan is still not a democracy, and Tunisia still has torture.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 04:04, 10 June 2016 (UTC) 04:04, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Rwanda is a bit of a ways away from any coast, and I doubt Congo would have been too pleased with all the foreign troops rolling through. We had just finished with Somalia, and did not want to get tangled in yet another disastrous civil war in Africa, so it's hard to blame the US for anything there. The US does not have the capability to deal with every single conflict in the world; we are neither the world police nor the world piggybank, no matter what anyone seems to think. CorruptUser (talk) 04:54, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
You could've got troops there via paratroopers and helis, à la Afghanistan. Airstrikes through B-2 bombers could've been done on Hutu militant camps, as well as Tomahawk strikes. That would've at least slowed the slaughter. It would've been hard engineering-wise to get in there in a couple of weeks and own the place though, you're right there. The real reason America/Europe didn't intervene is because no natural resources, and a bunch of black people killing each other. PBfreespace (talk) 04:59, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
And how would you resupply them? War has always been about logistics, not tactics. In Afghanistan, Pakistan allowed the supplies to go through. Doubt we'd get a similar deal with Congo or Tanzania.
Just out of curiosity, what resources did Bosnia have? CorruptUser (talk) 05:03, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Well what was accomplished in Somalia? We spent years destablising countries like Somalia so is it really surprising that they turned out the way they did. As a greater counter what was accomplished in Kosovo? We said that there was a genocide going on but we found that both the Serbs and Kosovar Albanians had been massacring each other with far less death than what was originally estimated. Our intervention caused the Serbs to be ethnically cleansed; Kosovo is still split along ethnic lines today and pogroms have occurred since the intervention. Kosovo isn't on any coast. We actually bombed Serbia and flattened Novi SadWikipedia, the second largest city in Serbia.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:06, 10 June 2016 (UTC) 05:06, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Also, the Yugoslav wars were some of the worst wars seen in Europe since WWII so that crisis threatened European stability. I would say that since Europe is an economic interest that would count as a "resource".--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:08, 10 June 2016 (UTC) 05:08, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Somalia had already destabilized by the time the US showed up. We tried to stabilize the place and help the UN do its job. Didn't work. Black Hawk Down ended with 2 warlords being taken out, which did jack shit.
As for Kosovo, the war ended. Why don't you tell the Bosnian refugees that I grew up with who had witnessed the war with their own eyes that we shouldn't have gotten involved? CorruptUser (talk) 05:13, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
You could resupply US troops in Rwanda via airdrop, and eventually work out a land corridor through diplomacy. It is a huge exaggeration to say that NATO 'flattened' Novi Sad. In short, we hit a few strategic targets important to their war effort. The Kosovo intervention liberated an ethnic-religious-linguistic group that was unfairly dominated by another for a century. I support the Kosovo intervention. Also, were these refugees Muslim or Christian? PBfreespace (talk) 05:16, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
I never said we shouldn't have intervened in Bosnia, which occured in 1992. I disagree with the Kosovo intervention because I think we caused more needless violence than would've occured otherwise which is why I bring up Novi Sad. Sure, I am being hyperbolas but destroy that city's resources and infrastructure and populating its environment cuased a lot of damage. I am not saying that the US directly caused Somalia to destabilise, that was caused by a lack of Soviet funding, but we had meddle in their affairs.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:23, 10 June 2016 (UTC) 05:23, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Exactly how many troops do you think you would have needed to stop the Rwandan civil war? It was a war with a million deaths; a brigade would not have been enough. And we aren't talking just food and guns; you need tanks, APCs, fuel, mechanics, and all the other supplies. You can't drop this stuff from the air; even if supplied by air you still need a place to land, and C-5 galaxies don't exactly land on dirt runways, at least not more than once. And where would you launch from? Whose airspace would you violate? CorruptUser (talk) 05:26, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Pb, I think you may be ignorant of the fact that the Rwandan genocide was a result of the Second Congo WarWikipedia, which, like Yugoslavia, resulted in a violent regional war.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:30, 10 June 2016 (UTC) 05:30, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Strange. Rwandan Genocide was 1994, Second Congo War 1998. Damned time travelers messing up Africa again. CorruptUser (talk) 05:33, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Whoops, flipped that around. I meant to say the Rwandan Genocide resulted in the First Congo war.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:41, 10 June 2016 (UTC) 05:41, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Tbh, I don't really support troops in that situation anyway, but to offer a half-assed defense of my position: I would do whatever we did in Afghanistan and the Berlin airlift. We were able to topple the Taliban in like, a month, using only airstrikes and a few hundred ground troops. We had an allied force there (Northern Alliance), just like with Rwanda (Liberation Front), so a safe zone would be set up there. My actual position is we should've done an Iraq-style shock strike on Hutu bases and troops using cruise missiles and long-range bomber strikes, and continued this for as long as technically possible. After the initial days of airstrikes, we could've parked a carrier off the Kenyan coast and conducted an ISIS-style campaign (i.e. 30 strikes a day). That might've lowered the death toll by 100,000 or so and maybe convinced the government stop stop its genocidal campaign. It's better than what we actually did, you must admit. PBfreespace (talk) 05:36, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Possibly, but the only doing airstrikes is usual an excuse of not actually doing anything but looking like we are. Airstrikes don't really end violence but they do help ground troops.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:45, 10 June 2016 (UTC) 05:45, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── We also had the support of Pakistan. Sort of. They let us use their roads, which unlike that part of Africa, they had. Afghanistan involved all of NATO, and the Taliban was actually rather unpopular so we had the support of much of the people. As for Berlin, Berlin had airfields and was maybe 150 miles from West Germany, whereas Rwanda is what, 500 miles from the ocean? And do you seriously expect to supply an army from aircraft carriers or something? And again, whose airspace are you violating here? Please, PB, I like like like view you as a friend think you often have good contributions here, but the straws you are grasping at are in a barn 2 counties over. CorruptUser (talk) 05:50, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Sorry about the all caps. Now.
If you want me to get really detailed about my actual plan, here's what I had in mind: use tomahawks and B-2s (and other capable non-nuclear equipment) to bomb the main political buildings in the Rwandan capital, destroy all known military bases of the Rwandan government, and kill any important leaders whose locations we know; and do it all in 96 hours. After that, a carrier with 80 strike craft will have made its way to the Indian Ocean coast to conduct 80 sorties per day. These sorties bomb forward operating bases, Rwandan troop concentrations, key supply lines and bridges, military transportation, and communication equipment. Particular emphasis is placed on the front line between the rebels and government, ensuring the rebels have close-air-support that enables them to take over the country and prevent further genocide. Best case scenario: it works and the rebels win, preventing great death. Worst-case: the slaughter is slowed down and US loses credibility. PBfreespace (talk) 05:54, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
You still haven't answered whose airspace we'd violate.
Key supply lines? Like what we did in Novi Sad?
And no, the worst case scenario is all of African joins in on this war, because yet again an "imperialist" is interfering, and the Congo Wars look like the Football WarWikipedia. But anyway, sleep now...CorruptUser (talk) 06:03, 10 June 2016 (UTC)