Some commentators have characterized the United States as the “world’s policeman.” Because the country has traditionally stood for high ideals, many argue that it should get involved in the internal affairs of other countries, providing support in order to promote economic prosperity and facilitate the spread of freedom and democracy. However, there are a variety of reasons why the United States should actually be less involved in the internal affairs of other nations. Even when the country’s intentions have been good, recent American interventions have been ineffective at best, and highly damaging in most cases. Also, the United States has a wide range of pressing domestic problems, so it makes more sense for the country to focus on its own internal issues.
First, recent military interventions by the United States have failed to successfully achieve the goals that they were set out to accomplish. Perhaps the most important example is the war in Iraq, where the United States intervened militarily in 2003, removing President Saddham Hussein. The stated goal was to promote democracy and secure the world from weapons of mass destruction, but the WMD never materialized, and the dismantling of the government left a power vacuum. The new government that the United States tried to instill was ineffective, and violence has continued in the country ever since. Even worse, the chaotic environment contributed to the rise of ISIS, a terrorist group that is now a major threat to people within the region and around the world. Given the poor outcome of intervention, the United States would have done well to stay out of Iraq’s affairs. The war in Afghanistan is a similar case. While the United States was able to remove the Taliban from power when they invaded in 2001, the country remains in turmoil.
Moreover, both the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan have been costly for the American people, but with few benefits. Together, the wars have cost billions of dollars for taxpayers. Also, military service members have given up their lives, and veterans have endured significant hardships on the battlefield, but there is still no clear purpose or end in sight. To protect the blood and treasure of Americans, the country should become less involved in the internal affairs of other nations.
An example of U.S. involvement in the internal affairs of other countries that has been ineffective is the attempt to facilitate resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For decades, the United States has dedicated time and political capital to the effort, trying to get a peace deal between the parties in the conflict. However, U.S. actions have not promoted long-term peace in the region; rather, the current situation appears to be intractable as ever. Therefore, it would have made more sense for American politicians to focus their efforts elsewhere.
Finally, the United States should be less involved in the internal affairs of other countries because there are major problems at home, so it would be better for the country to focus its resources on these challenges. For example, the opioid addiction epidemic is affecting millions of people, and the country needs to support effective health care solutions to deal with this crisis, as well as the economic factors that underpin it. Another domestic issue on which the country should focus resources is reforming the criminal justice system. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly clear that race is playing an outsized role in policing and sentencing procedures. Rather than trying to aid other countries, the United States should focus on ensuring equality within its own borders.
To summarize, the United States should be less involved in the internal affairs of other countries, because it would be more beneficial for the residents of other countries, as well as U.S. citizens. Instead of spending extravagantly on foreign ventures, the United States should focus taxpayer dollars on improving domestic conditions.