Fallacy of containment:
To battle the danger of Soviet expansionism, President Harry Truman issued the “Truman Doctrine”, meant to ‘contain’ communism to the Soviet Union. Funny, this same president, a Democrat, gave Eastern Europe to the Soviets.
During the age of ‘containment’ communism, and with it the influence of the Soviet Union, grew into a world wide growth. From China, to Korea, to Indo-China (Vietnam), to Cuba, the spread of communism has spread like a cancer.
This brings us to the subject of ‘nation building.’ There are many on both sides of the aisle that take exception to that idea. They have no problem with going to war against an ooenemy when that enemy poses a threat to the United States or it’s vital interests. They just don’t like the idea of staying after the victory. History has examples of both scenarios.
After WWI, the United States, not a world power at the time, returned home to the call for a ‘return to normalcy’, meaning a return to isolationism. Without the stabilizing force of the US, Europe fell into a Great Depression both economically and politically. Granted, the US was also in the throes of the depression, but it could rebuild it’s economy for it’s resources were not depleted like Europe’s.
With no staple, secure ally to turn to, Germany turned to their only hope in a hostile continent, Adolph Hitler and the Nazis.
After the allies defeated Germany and the axis powers in WWII, American forces, both military and political, stayed behind to rebuild and redirect Germany and Japan towards Democracy and the rule of law. We are still in both countries. They are are both free, democratic, and stable.
A few years later our military services were needed again in South Korea. After much loss we were able to secure the liberty of South Korea from communist North Korea. Since North Korea is still ruled by the cruel Kim dynasty, South Korea is starting ll threatened. Remember, there was no peace treaty. There has been a cease fire all that s time. The war is not over.
Not long after that, American forces started their foray into the conflict between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. This was not a civil war, as both nations had been created at the same time after WWII.
This battle escalated under the Johnson administration of the 1960s. It was also the only time when a US ally suffered more at the hands of the US than the enemy. For years the North delayed peace talks, in an effort to discourage the American people from the war. It was not until President Richard Nixon quit playing around and used the Air Force to bomb North Vietnam into serious peace negotiations. Everyone thought the war was brought to a peaceful conclusion when US military personnel were brought home in 1972. They were wrong.
Soon after that, North Vietnamese forces made a full scale Invasion of the South. Part of the peace treaty signed in Paris provided for the resumption of bombing of North Vietnam should this occur. Nixon went to congress for authorization to start the bombing. The communists the f North Vietnam gambled that the American people would not have the stomach for more war. They won that bet. South Vietnam lost the war and now it is gone.
This brings us to today and the war in Iraq. Pundits on both sides of the aisle berate George W Bush for his ‘nation building.’ They say it is best to wage war if necessary, then leave. We have seen in history the results of this action.
After he took office, and against the advice of the general staff, Obama made good on his campaign pledge and withdrew all of our troops from Iraq. This resulted in the rise of ISIS in Iraq. This occurred in 2013, four years after taking office.
I can’t absolutely prove ISIS would not have been a factor if our forces had stayed in Iraq, but I can say that ISIS did arise in Iraq after we left. What I can also say is that if we had stayed to help the Iraqi government make the change from a dictatorship to a democratic republic, this chaos would probably not have happened.
Whether we like it or not, for good or for bad, the United States IS the worlds policeman. We are the only nation with the moral character, and the economic engine to drive the military might to ensure freedom and stability in this world. Do we still have to courage and stamina to “…bare any burden, pay any cost…” to promote and defend freedom across the globe. Or is John F. Kennedy rolling in his grave.