Should America police the world?
January 17, 2013
The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the personal views of the reporter, the Blue Print newspaper or Moffat County School District. Reporters are asked to take a specific position in order to share selected perspectives.
YES "As long as evil exists, someone will have to protect peaceful people from predators. Without an effective police force, the world community would fall apart…" stated Max Boot, a member in the Council on Foreign Relations. With advancements in technology and transportation, people can now travel to the other side of the world in a day. As a result, trade and warfare have evolved, making communication and the need for a global community a key factor in human advancement. A global police force is a necessity in ensuring that there is justice and freedom in even the poorest of nations, and the U.S. has the responsibility to take on this role.
Even though democracy has gone from just 20% of the world to 60%, there are still too many evil dictators decimating small countries that are unable to defend themselves. Many claim to be for democracy but once in power, they rule as tyrants.
Kim Jong Un, son of the deceased North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, has recently taken up his father's position and continues to spend the country's money and resources on the development of nuclear weapons.
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was supposedly a liberation "hero" in the struggle for independence in his country, but since his rise to power, he has become a murderous despot. Mugabe arrests and tortures those who oppose him and is squandering his nation's money.
There are an estimated 40 dictators living in the world today. If the U.S. abandons its role as the global police, who's going to make sure North Korea doesn't use their nuclear weapons? Who's going to fight the injustice going on in African countries? No other countries have stepped up like the United States in defending people who face ruthless oppression within their own countries.
The U.S. Constitution was founded on a belief in individual rights and freedoms; freedom to choose, freedom to protest, freedom of speech, freedom from persecution and rights of equal opportunity.
The U.S. isn't a perfect country but at least our country is willing to make the hard decisions that other countries are not willing or able to make.
NO On March 19, 2011, the U.S. military, with British assistance, got involved in Libya. The U.S. invaded by air while Britain fired 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya. This one military intervention alone cost U.S. taxpayers $896 million dollars. That's nearly as much money as Brazil's entire economy for one year. In 2012, the U.S. spent $711 billion dollars on the military. That's $550 billion more than China spent, who came in second. Our country is in serious debt right now. Intervening in other countries' affairs, as well-intentioned as it may be, is simply not economically feasible anymore.
Spending close to $900 million to become involved in Libya was damaging to our country. The Pew Research Center concluded that nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans think we should not be as involved in the Middle East as we are now.
However, President Obama now wants to get involved in Syria's affairs because dictator Bashar al-Assad is considering using chemical weapons against his own people. "The world is watching," Obama said during a recent speech about the situation, "the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable and if you [Syria] make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable."
As wrong as it is for Assad to be using these weapons against his own people, why should it be our responsibility to stop him? We'd incur a high cost as well as putting U.S. service men and women in harm's way. On November 27, 2012 the U.S. military death count in Afghanistan reached 2,030.
Obama has focused on helping people in need in the U.S. He created "Obamacare" to help those who didn't have health care. The unemployed now get financial assistance for up to 79 weeks. Obama is filling an obligation to help our own country. The U.S. has no obligation to help other countries as well. Adding other countries' burdens makes it harder on us. The way the U.S. is intervening in others' affairs is making enemies with other nations, and may cause more trouble in the years to come.