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Joseph Solis-Mullen

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The Loss in Afghanistan Is Only the Latest Chapter in a Long Story of Intervention


US interventions abroad in the postwar period have created nothing but problems, problems regularly made worse by later attempts to solve the problems created by those previous interventions. While one can find innumerable instances of these failures in South and Central America, Europe, Africa, or Southeast Asia, the US interventions in Central Asia and the Middle East over the past forty years stand among the most illuminating case studies of this phenomenon. They illustrate the full folly, arrogance, and immorality of the US foreign policy establishment in a way perhaps unparalleled since its involvement in Indochina (approximately 1950–73), and should dissuade anyone from believing that the foreign policy, security, and military establishment ever learn any lessons or will “get it right next time.”

In 1990, just months after intervening in Panama to remove former CIA asset Manuel Noriega from power, on the other side of the world another former instrument of US power, Saddam Hussein, caught Washington’s attention when he invaded Kuwait.

Saddam had been cultivated by the CIA through the 1960s and '70s, and when he took power in Iraq launched a war against the recently liberated Iranians with US backing—the Iranians having finally thrown off the despotic US puppet regime installed following the 1953 CIA-sponsored coup against Mohammad Mossadegh. The war, which killed over a million and lasted a decade, left Iraq in serious debt to the Sunni kingdoms of the Arabian Peninsula. The Kuwaitis, not being repaid fast enough, subsequently began slant drilling Iraqi oil fields.
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