Wednesday, May 4, 2011

After Bin Laden

The death of Osama Bin Laden brings a lot of questions as to what the U.S. foreign and military policy should be in the wake of taking out the leader and financier of the al-Qaeda terrorist network. While the al-Qaeda terrorist network does have a chain in command, one can hope that with his death so went the financing. If that is the case, then the nearly War on Terror can be come to a close, or at the most redefined.

For starters, the U.S. must get out of Libya. Launching a military campaign against Libya was a failed mission from day one. Muammar Gaddafi was not a threat to the United States, and the Obama Administration knows this. Even more important than that, Obama failed to gain approval from Congress before launching a military campaign. Obama's hypocrisy on launching a military campaign against Libya has been widely reported and contradicts Obama's 2007 harsh criticism on former President George W. Bush's rush to war in Iraq, and the surge.

In addition, the United States has created a complete blunder in allowing NATO to dictate the military strategy in Libya. If the United States does not want to lead and has no strategy to win, then they should not be there in the first place. Mr. President, withdraw all U.S. military forces related to the military conflict in Libya now.

The second realignment of U.S. military forces abroad must consist of removing all U.S. forces from Iraq. By now, Iraq is stable and stand on its own two feet. The U.S. military should not be used for nation building and we Saddam Hussein is long gone. Mr. President, please bring our troops home from Iraq. The mission is done.

The final realignment deals with the nearly ten year-old conflict in Afghanistan. After the September 11, 2011 attacks, the right thing to do was to rid the world of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Taliban who was given bin Laden cover. This month, the world received news that the supreme leader and architect of the al-Qaeda terrorist network was killed. This milestone should be the nail in the coffin in wides-spread terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. Let's hope the funds have dried up with bin Laden's death.

While there are still remnants of al-Qaeda that still exist, the U.S. foreign and military strategy in Afghanistan must be limited to monitoring to ensure that the al-Qaeda does not rebuild. Such monitoring can done via satellite and drones. What can be done is to withdraw all ground forces from Afghanistan. Further military operations can be done and should be done via naval aircraft carrier and battleship groups in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea.

Continuing military operations to current levels is no longer necessary, and continues to weaken the U.S. military. Many troops have been deployed to the Middle East many times, and for lengthy periods. As long as Obama, Defense Secretary Gates and General Petraeus allow three conflicts to occur at once and failing to define the mission at hand, there is no sense in allowing military operations to continue.

CATO Institute has recently launched two videos, of which echo a more sensible approach to U.S. Middle East strategy:

American forces should be commended for what they have accomplished, even dealing with vague objectives at times. Thank God for the U.S. military! For they heed the call when needed, and always complete the mission.

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