2014 November 28 Friday
Stephen Walt: The General Propensity For Threat Inflation

On Blogging Heads TV Noah Millman talks with Stephen Walt about excesses in US foreign policy. In one of Walt's sentences he refers to "the general propensity for threat inflation" in US national security and foreign policy circles. So true.

As Millman points out America's power combined with instant reporting of events all over the world makes it far more likely that voices will call for interventions anytime something somewhere seems to be going wrong. The "going wrong" might be from the perspective of American interests but it seems more often to be from the perspective of values. I certainly feel that way about ISIS/Daesh turning women into slaves for example.

They discuss Libya as an example where US intervention didn't create a happy outcome. Ditto Afghanistan and Iraq. As things stand now it looks like the US invasion of Iraq created conditions that might allow a new fundamentalist Sunni Muslim state to arise out of pieces of Iraq and Syria with a lot of other groups quite shafted in the process.

While Obama is ramping up the US intervention in Iraq and Syria my suspicion is that he just wants to hold back ISIS/Daesh long enough to pass that war on to the next US President. As Walt and Millman point out though, US support for the Iraqi military helped enable corruption (especially after the US withdrew) and conditions that led to the current fracturing of Iraq and Syria. It seems unlikely that the US government will find a way to make the Iraqi government sufficiently less corrupt enough to enable an effective army to be built up in Iraq.

If you click thru note the 1.4x button that will speed up the video playback. The software cuts out dead space and lets you watch discussions a lot faster. I wish other video sites (notably YouTube and the assorted online news channels) had this feature.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 November 28 04:30 PM 

bob sykes said at November 29, 2014 5:05 AM:

It should be obvious by now that US foreign policy consists merely of vandalism, destruction and killing for the sheer joy of it. The US itself is the main source of terror and violence in the world, a true terrorist state, an evil empire wallowing in blood.

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