This is going to sound somewhat partisan at least from a Neoconservative’s perspective and if that is the case you’re more than welcome to way in on this and attempt to contradict me. But then I’ll get to Europe where I believe there is a lot of common ground on both the Left and Right when it comes to foreign policy and national security.
The reason why we are dealing with all of these independent terrorists groups now that are free to flow everywhere in Africa, the Middle East and Eurasia is because of the 2003 War in Iraq. ISIS didn’t exist pre-Iraq and yes the War in Afghanistan was something we had to do because the Taliban in Afghanistan were subsidizing and protecting the terrorists who were responsible for 9/11. And even though it has taken a long time thanks to the War in Iraq and Afghan corruption that mission is starting to finally pay off. As that country is finally stabilizing and their economy is finally moving.
The Middle East was a fairly stable area pre-War in Iraq. And as horrible as the Saddam Regime was there and most people including myself are glad he’s no longer running that country and even dead, you didn’t have terrorists in Iraq killing Americans before the war. And you didn’t have terrorists occupying Northern Iraq and Northern Syria. Which would be ISIS today because the central government’s in both countries were strong enough to secure their countries even if they were horrible to their people.
You also didn’t have a jealous Vladimir Putin as President of Russia thinking who needed to make his own power play because of what America was doing to countries that were close to Russia. Part of President Putin’s justification for invading Ukraine has been that he doesn’t believe America should be the sole power in the world that can act unilaterally even in their own interests. The world was a much safer place in 2002 pre-Iraq when our main security threat was Al-Qaeda, a nuclear armed North Korea that still can’t even feed its people. And a potential terrorist state in Iran getting nuclear weapons.
Now where there I believe there is bipartisan agreement, lets look at Europe. Part of the rise of Russia has to do with the fall, or at least steep decline in Europe. Where only Germany as far as a large country in Europe has a healthy economy. But Europe is falling in population and young people and gaining in older people. Because they don’t take in many immigrants each year unlike America and as a result their social democratic economic systems are collapsing. Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Greece all drowning in high debt, and deficits, unemployment. Greece having to take a bailout package that is actually larger than their national economy to stay afloat. And have just elected a new socialist government that’s against austerity.
But if that is not bad enough for Europe, as their populations and economies continue to decline, so does their militaries. Where NATO is essentially just made up of America now as far as real military threat. And to a certain degree Britain, France and Germany to some extent. Europe is more than capable of responding to Russia in any way themselves at least as far as resources, but has chosen not to. Wouldn’t be great to go back to 2002 and far as the security situations for the Western world, but subtract George W. Bush for Al Gore and only be dealing with Afghanistan right now. But we of course can’t go back in time.