In May, 2014, US President, Barrack Obama revealed his long anticipated plan that a residual force of about 10000 US troops will continue their operations in Afghanistan and Iraq after the end of combat operations in December. By the end of 2015, the number will be reduced to half and by the end of 2016, the number will eventually be reduced to a small military presence manning the US embassy (DeYoung). This is part of President Obama strategy to pull out large number of US troops from the Middle East. The issue has raised a lot of concerns with some contemporary political analysts arguing that pulling out of the Middle East could have adverse negative effects in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan which are already experiencing a large rise of insurgency. According to Myre, the presence of Americans in Middle East has done well more than harm such as removing the Taliban government in Afghanistan which supported Terrorism activities, and dethroning of Saddam Hussein. However, the Americans should pull out of the Middle East because of increasing military budget that has affected the US economy among other reasons and its involvement in the Middle East has not yielded any meaningful impact to curb insurgency in the Middle East.
The September 11, 2001 terrorists attack in the US became a reality to America that there was a need to address increasing groups and government s that supported terrorist activities. The presence of American in the Middle East began when American troops launched anti-Taliban operations and a mission to remove Saddam Hussein from power. As a result, American began the War in the Middle East, starting with the War in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Despite the decision by the then US president George W. Bush, a large number of Americans opposed the move. As the war continued, American troops suffered from high causalities. Up to date, America has been fighting in the Middle East for the last 11 years because the threat of insurgency especially the one posed by Taliban, and Al-Qaeda has not been fully eliminated (DeYoung). Ironically, more dreadful insurgent groups such the Islamic State has emerged.
America has had its presence in several of the middle East States such as Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and carried out some airstrikes in Libya. The United States has been against the Muslim fundamentalists on each of the cases. However, the American participation has not yet yielded any resolutions to the conflicts. American should pull out because there is no success story in most of this cases. The US’ war in Iraq led to the country being more divided. The use of financial assistance and diplomacy in allies like Pakistan and Egypt and the proposal for sanctions against Iran has not succeeded in ensuring peace in the Middle East (Myre). Several people have attributed the US policies particularly, criticizing George W. Bush for waging two wars at the same time and President Barrack Obama for being excessively hesitant to take action as the region implodes.
For a period of more than two decades, the US military has been carrying out military operations and air operations in Iraq. However, the US has managed to achieve nothing for investing massively on its presence in Iraq and in the Middle East in general. There is no evidence to prove that the US can manage to bring into control the kind of insurgency in the Middle East (Myre). The War in Syria for instance for instance has been described as a multi-sided conflict which the US needs to avoid even though Obama had requested funds to provide arms to the so called moderate Syrian rebels. In essence, the US should pull out as no option appears appealing. In addition, in countries such as Pakistan which the US considers as one of its key allies and leading recipient of military assistance from the US continues to grapple with insurgency and ironically, it is one of the leading anti-American nation in the Middle East (Myre).
This is a prove that American should pull out of the Middle East because despite of its effort to unite region and ensure peace, the presence is turning out to be costly.
Back in America, the US public is against the presence of American troops in the Middle East especially in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US public is also against any American involvement in Middle East conflicts which they believe cannot be ended and has caused heavy causalities among the American troops. In addition, the American people are much concerned about the adverse effects the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has had on the US economy (Brownlee). Most notably, the simultaneously wars in Iraq and Afghanistan eroded immense public resources that affected the US economy.
- Brownlee, Jason. Was Obama wrong to withdraw troops from Iraq? Washington Post, June 2014. Web. 24 November 2014
- DeYoung, Karen. Obama to leave 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Washington Post, May 2014. Web. 24 November 2014
- Myre, Greg. America’s Middle East Scorecard: Many Interventions, Few Successes. August 2014. Web. 24 November 2014