Week 14

Vietnam veteran, U.S. Army colonel during the First Gulf War, and historian Andrew Bacevich argue that “actions of Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, however malevolent, cannot explain why the U.S. today finds itself enmeshed in a seemingly never-ending conflict.” Combating terrorism is one of the reasons for U.S foreign policy in the Middle East, however, it is not the only reason. According to the article there are three main forces that drives U.S. foreigh policy in the Middle East. Those would be economic/cultural reasons, political reasons, and the military. As we talked in class, the Middle East is home to were the United States imports oil, and so maintaining this has always been an importance. Bacevich argues that the United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East has a goal to maintain access to the region’s oil resources and to protect Israel, instead of fighting terrorism all together. Another force that drives U.S foreign policy in the Middle East is because the U.S has a number of military bases located throughout the Middle East in order to help maintain America`s economic interests. Also according to Bacevich, “freedom” at home and “empire” abroad are connected.  Bacevich believes that the U.S. thinks of itself as a special country with a duty to spread its beliefs around the world. The U.S. had been doing this since the Cold War and this idea has been used to justify the U.S. expanding its power in other countries and by keeping the country safe and to spread democracy. However, by focusing on other countries, the U.S. tends to forget about issues that are happening in America. After studying the imperialistic role the U.S has taken since the Cold War, I feel like we just need to focus on our own country before involving ourselves into other countries affairs. I am not sure if there is a way out from U.S “forever wars.” I feel the U.S uses the military very heavily when it deals with the Middle East, so I think if we decreased our use of the military that might help put an end to forever wars, but at this point the wars have already been happening for a long time, and a lot has been invested into these areas, and I am not sure if the U.S would want to give that up.

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