- Oct 2015
Hi @tomar : In military & foreign policy actions there are always unintended consequences which need to be dealt with. These were managed by US consistently and determinedly, which I will try to explain:I dont see how removing Saddam helped in the war on terror.. Au contraire it led to all kinds of stronger terror groups, chief of all ISIS....
The Taliban seem stronger than anytime since the US invasion toppled their regime... and there are now negotiations with them.... when you negotiate with terrorists its not a sign that you are winning
1. Saddam & Iraq:
1.1 Assume US had not challenged Saddam's conquest of Kuwait what would he have done next? People like Saddam are ambitious & not status-quo powers like India. Saddam's next target would have been Saudi which is a weak military state. If Saddam succeeded in this, then world's major oil resources would be under control of Saddam giving him the capacity to disrupt world economy. (Remember the 1973 oil shock? Oil price tripled in few months and then doubled in next couple of years. Inflation rate in India touched 25% per year). Moreover Saudi is an ally of USA.
1.2 The unintended consequence of Saddam's departure was that the vacuum was filled by ISIS. So as the next step, US enlisted help of Kurds and Syrian to tackle ISIS. I suppose lots of dollars were spent. ISIS is now not a territorial power.
1.3 Though War on Saddam was named as 'War on Terror' but it was more than that. A balloon was floated that Iraq had 'weapons of mass destruction'. We need to differentiate rhetoric from realpolitik. The aims of Iraq war are explained above.
2. Taliban & Afghaanistan:
2.1 The main thrust of US policy in Afghanistan was to evict the Russian occupation of that country. This was achieved in 1990 by enlisting decade long support of Pakistan. US objective in Afghanistan was fully achieved by 1990.
2.2 Problem for US came when at time of withdrawing from that country. It tried to install a democratically elected government so that Russians do not re-enter.
2.3 Such government was not sustainable because (i) Pakistan started playing a foul game wanting to destabilize Afg. and (ii) Islamic terror groups had become powerful in Afghanistan and Pakistan - and were not fully under control of anyone. This was an unintended consequence of Russian expulsion. So what next?
3.3 US attempted to involve India asking us to send troops to Afghanistan to fight Taliban. We did not take the bait but has continued developmental work there (building roads etc).
3.4 Finally, accepting the ground reality, US has taken a pragmatic decision. Reversing its earlier stand, it has begun talks with 'Taliban' to domesticate it - so that when it withdraws, old allies of US in Afg are not massacred.
I guess we should take this discussion elsewhere or close it.