Regime Change has no Place in United States Foreign Policy
Taylor M. Haines, M.S. Ed.
In 2012, Ron Paul spoke on the House floor, referring to the war in Iraq and the bombing of Libya, and stated:
“The total waste of those wars should cause us to pause before this all-out effort at occupation and regime change is initiated against Syria. There are no national security concerns that require such a foolish escalation of violence in the Middle East. There should be no doubt that our security interests are best served by completely staying out of the internal strife now raging in Syria”
Those words will now haunt us forever. On the night of April 6, 2017, the United States began its shelling of Syria by launching a series of Tomahawk cruise missiles into the Shayrat Airbase in Syria. What little are aware of is that prior to this, in March, the U.S. quietly deployed 500 Marines into Syria via armored personnel carriers (APC). The bigger dilemma? We already had troops there from early 2016 that you probably didn’t know were there, training and “advising” rebel, non-Syrian government forces.
All of this was done without a congressional Declaration of War, in violation of the Constitutional process and, you named it, at your tax paying expense. This is a clear, overreaching act of force by the executive branch which continues to behave unchecked as it has been the past 16 years. There is no difference between what President Trump is doing and what President Obama has done (and President Bush before him).
AT WHAT COST?
If the past 17 years of playing house in the Middle East has taught us anything it is that we have two significant problems with our foreign policy; the first is that regime change does not stabilize anything, it only makes governments more unstable. The second is that it is costing us a lot of money.
Every country we have ever stepped foot in and instituted a policy of regime change has led to radicalized groups of terror, warlord territorial control or a complete lack of authority altogether. Iran, Guatemala, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya…just to name a few.
Speaking in terms of dollars and cents, in 2013, Reuters suggested that the War in Iraq alone cost (at that point) $1.7 trillion dollars, not including the additional $490 billion in benefits that will need to be paid to veterans or the compounding interest of all outstanding loans which could force the cost up to over $6 trillion dollars in the next 40 years. A full-on invasion of Syria would continue to add significantly to our war debts; our national debt has already been pushed to the max and cannot sustain further burden.
The process of regime change has no place in U.S. foreign policy; regime change is subject to extensive costs, both of monetary and blood values, and is often accomplished through non-Constitutional methods which the military-industrial complex profits from off the back of taxpayers. Entangling alliances continue to fracture the Jeffersonian ideals of Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations.