Discourse / Letters / January 22, 2020

Letter to the Editor: Caution in Withdraw

There is no doubt that the airstrike on General Solimani was a mistake that inflamed tensions between the U.S. and Iran and caused needless suffering. On that front, I agree with your editorial about the consequences of another war, but I cannot agree with the solutions proposed.

With the rise of a desire to withdraw troops from conflict zones in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, it can be hard to see any benefit from our continued presence in such places. But there are reasons that U.S. troops are stationed where they are, and they should not be overlooked.

An immediate withdraw from the Middle East would be a mistake. To do so would create a power vacuum and expose the numerous areas re-liberated from ISIS to further violence. To retreat (like we did with the Syrian Kurds) is to ensure future partners who would fight terrorists will be much more unlikely to cast their lot in with us when they know we will not keep our promise to protect them – thus forcing U.S. troops to be deployed to do the job themselves and making it harder to find a way out.

Military intervention, when done properly, can prove effective. Take the NATO intervention in the Balkans in the ‘90s, which helped to end a genocide in Bosnia and kick Serbian strongman Milosevic out of power. We should take care to avoid interventions, but we should also try and remember that sometimes there are legitimate reasons for it too.


-Alex Crawford

TKS Staff

Tags:  Iran middle east Qassem Soleimani U.S. foreign policy war

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