The differences in US foreign policy between the Republicans and Democrats are becoming increasingly blurred. There are significantly different views on domestic issues but, in foreign policy, they seem almost in lock step. Just have a look at Israel and Syria. There is hardly any difference in policy; both pro-Israel, and both in favour of intervention in Syria, both anti-China and Russia.
In recent days senior Democrat Diane Feinstein has joined Hillary Clinton in criticism of Obama’s Syria policy. They have aligned themselves with the hawkish Republican Party and the general US public. They are opposed to containment and want more muscular intervention, calling for more special operations troops. As history has shown in earlier conflicts such as Vietnam, when that doesn’t work, it is followed by a full-scale military intervention. Military pundits have already said the US would need at least 50,000 boots in Syria in order to combat ISIS. And I doubt that would be sufficient. This war is too diffused; it is not a set piece ground war with drawn battle lines.
The interesting element of this dispute is how it has brought together the two parties who generally are willing only to criticise the other. Democrats accuse the Republicans of not recognising the shortcomings of their party and the Republicans do the same with regard to the Democrats. Neither party seems capable of looking objectively at US foreign policy within their own party.
Another hawk, Nunes, a Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, joined Feinstein in criticism of Obama and made reference to the fact that “North Africa is full of ISIS fighters” and “they (US) need a re-look at a larger strategy that deals with North Africa, the Middle East, all the way to Afghanistan and Pakistan”. That is a pretty tall order and one that would require a military force twice what the US presently has. Bombing will not do the job. It would also precipitate another World War because eventually such a conflict would bring into play other Muslim countries such as Indonesia and the large Muslim populations of India and central Asia.
The myopic US public, as usual, panicking, following Paris attacks, is fully supportive of a more aggressive approach to ISIS, and will be until the war drags on and they find themselves in another quagmire. Worse, as the Muslims in US society become more marginalised we will witness Paris style attacks in the US. The enemy will then be within, not in Syria.
Categories:US Foreign Policy