When I wrote about the Donald’s change of troop positions abroad last week, it was less than completely clear that the US President aimed to withdraw troops from Afghanistan as well as Syria. But multiple reports on the day I posted “Strategic Disengagement” make it clearer: about half of America’s 14,000 troops stationed there are scheduled to exit.
Why not all?
Well, you can see how entrenched foreign intervention is for American leaders. While most of the GOP policy establishment howled at Donald Trump’s betrayal of the cause (whatever that cause is, exactly), so, too, did many of the Democrats. And they seem awfully earnest. More earnest than one has reason to expect from the objectors to “George W. Bush’s wars.”
What we are witnessing are eternal programs that do not ever — and cannot ever — fulfill their basic purpose. No amount of occupation of Syria or Afghanistan or Iraq is going to give us what the neoconservatives promised: freedom and democracy and jubilation in the streets.
Freedom and democracy do not work that way.
There is a term for such impossible-to-win/impossible-to-stop policy messes: “self-licking ice cream cones.”
The term means a “self-perpetuating system that has no purpose other than to sustain itself,” which is just standard operating procedure for domestic bureaucracies.
But in foreign military action?
Awfully cold imagery, and too comic . . . for tragedy.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.