During Saturday night’s Democratic debate on ABC, which most probably didn’t watch since it was on a Saturday before Christmas, Hillary Clinton brought up the typical failed policy America always seems to follow. It’s the same policy the current Republican field is advocating for, and probably the same one that the next President will follow no matter who it is. This is the policy of arming groups who are fighting against our current enemy without really thinking through the consequences.
We have a long history of doing this. We armed Iraq against Iran. Then we armed the rebel Muslim fighters in Afghanistan when they were trying to oust the Soviet Union. Those were just two of the most recent examples and most disastrous for us. If we do it again by heavily arming the numerous rebel groups inside of Syria and the Peshmerga Kurdish forces, we could seriously destabilize that region.
Though we may not think that selling arms to Iraq was all that bad, the people of Iraq and Iran certainly feel different, and it eventually led us to invade the country once the former ally became an enemy.
Then think about those fighters in Afghanistan we supplied weapons to. They became the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Those weapons helped them give Russia it’s own ‘Vietnam’ and then cement their power in the country. How many people have been killed by just these two actions alone?
Now we have so many politicians, including Hillary Clinton, advocating for more weapons to be funneled to our allies in Syria and the Kurds. It’s as if no one has ever learned the lessons of the past or can even think ahead to what might happen after this current fight is finished. Let’s say that Daesh is finally defeated and Assad leaves peacefully. Even if elections are held, who is to say that everyone will abide by the results? With all the weapons in the nation, there is a good possibility that civil war breaks out again if a reasonable coalition cannot be worked out or agreed to.
That isn’t even considering the situation with the Kurds, who have longstanding disagreements with both Iraq and Turkey. Now that they will have a good stockpile of weapons, why wouldn’t they declare their independence? We have proclaimed them our ally for a long time, but we haven’t always been the best ally to them. How would we deal with them because of our ties to Iraq or because Turkey is a NATO ally? Do we abandon them or support them?
If we support the Kurds or abandon them, we blacken our reputation. By supporting them, we tell our allies that they can’t trust us. If we don’t support the Kurds again, then we prove to the world that our words are meaningless and we will only act out of political expediency. So before we allow another politician to convince us to send arms to these foreign fighters, we need to really consider what the consequences might be.