In Afghanistan, we have fueled the very insurgency we struggle to fight.
Al Qaeda had relatively little if any presence in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion. The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the subsequent destruction and violence, enabled al Qaeda to flourish. Al Qaeda and its affiliates are now conducting an accelerated campaign of relentless attacks and suicide bombings in Iraq.
Last year's intervention in Libya is another example. The U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies spurred a civil war, taking sides despite persistent questions about the nature of the opposition. The war and the chaos that followed have allowed radical groups to gain another foothold.
The point of these three examples is the theme of this piece:
After more than 10 years of war against al Qaeda and the accompanying global "war on terrorism," we have failed to learn that our actions create reactions. Our presence creates destabilization, then radicalization. Occupations create insurgencies.
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria -- al Qaeda surfs instability created or supported by U.S. interventions. Al Qaeda is ready to exploit resentment toward the U.S. while capitalizing on the openings created by U.S. interventionism. As a result our U.S. tax dollars are being used to fuel the rise of extremism.
Have we learned nothing from the Soviet Union's demise as a result of its adventure in Afghanistan? Will we continue to spend tax dollars to create even more U.S. enemies... setting the stage for an accelerated downward spiral for our economy and our own decline as a great power?