International Relation (Scenario)
International Relations (Scenario)
International Relations (Scenario)
The United States Military: Post War
The American military has been involved in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in recent times. Both of these wars have been recorded and described as the bloodiest wars in recent times. It is said that, possibly, hundreds of thousands of people died in both of these wars. People are still dying, though in small numbers as the wars come to an end. The Iraq war is virtually over and the Americans have pulled their troops from the country. The Afghanistan war is a bit more complicated and over 51, 000 American soldiers are still in the country. Both of these wars have had an unprecedented effect, both on finances and the death toll on the American military personnel. In terms of costs, the American government has spent over $1.7 trillion dollars in both of these wars. The cost is incomprehensible and has been a major source of concern to the American citizenry, apart from the rising death toll. Over 4,000 military personnel have lost their lives in these wars. The American citizenry has been divided over the wars and most Americans have demanded for withdrawal of troops from these countries. The main reason for the public outcry is the economic effects of these wars on the American population. The government has spent an unprecedented amount of money on the wars (Bilmes, 2013). As the costs spiraled out of control, it became evident that the military cannot be suddenly withdrawn from the countries. A sudden withdrawal of the troops might plunge the locals into suffering and vulnerabilities from the insurgents, the situation that had led the American military going into the countries in the first place.
The effects of war on the United States
The wars and their adverse effects in the political and the financial arena of the American people have been a major point of debate in America. While the public is demanding for a total withdrawal of the troops, it is worth noting that that the option is not a viable one. A sudden and total withdrawal of the troops from these countries is known as the ‘zero option.’ This option has tremendous negative effects. It has the potential of eroding the benefits that have been accrued by the years of war. The locals that have been freed from the tyranny of the Islamic extremists will be plunged into vulnerabilities of violent attacks from the remaining insurgents (House, 2013). The Afghanistan and Iraq wars have colored two administrations with totally different agendas and policies. However, the war issue has been a determinant factor in both of these presidents’ popularity among the American public. While the American government tries to find the most amicable way to pull the troops from these countries without having adverse effects on the local population, there is another issue that has to be addressed; the issue of the military personnel. After the military personnel have been withdrawn from the countries, the military personnel have to be dealt with. They still possess the military skills that, if left unchecked, will lead to negative effects on the veterans. Notably, the military personnel were still training for deployment to these countries when the American government decided to pull the plug on these programs (Falk, 2012).
Reducing the size and scope of the military
Calls for a reduction of the military size and their scope in the next ten years have hit the headlines in recent months. The calls and the idea is easily said than done. Reducing the size of the military means, laying off some of the military personnel. That means, essentially, that military personnel that possess special military skills will be laid off to join the American citizenry. Military pundits are aware that this option has negative consequences. The best way forward is to involve these forces in military activities that do not necessarily lead to direct wars of fighting. The Afghanistan and Iraq wars were a response by the American government to terrorist threats. However, as the wars pushed on, the terrorism threat has increased over the years. Africa has also emerged as a leading hub for terrorist insurgents. To make matters worse, most of the African governments do not possess the necessary military and intelligence to handle the emerging threat. For instance, in Nigeria, a group calling itself the Boko Haram has been causing nightmares to locals, kidnaping and killing thousands of people (Onuoha, 2012). The Nigerian government is, apparently, ill-equipped to handle the rising threat of terrorism in the region. Due to these facts, the American military is devising for ways to involve the American military to handle emerging threats around the world, with a special focus in the African continent. This option, however, will not see the reduction of military forces, but will reduce the possibility to continually recruit forces to replace dead military personnel as they are not directly involved in the fighting process. The American military will expand its military prowess and influence globally without directly involving itself in the fighting process. It will be able to do this through equipping the local governments with the necessary skills to fight off the growing threat of Islamic extremism.
Another option that the American military is deliberating on is the bringing on board allies to help fight the global threat against terrorism. The American government has allies globally with military personnel that can help fight the threat of terrorism. These allies are also in danger of the terrorism threat just like the United States. Incorporating the ally military personnel through an integrated program has mutual benefits for all the countries involved. The allies will also be involved in the fight against terrorism that also poses a threat to their citizens in their countries and abroad. The allies also get a chance to engage their military on the global scale and to increase their military experience internationally. The United States, on the other hand, will see a reduction in the scope of their activities as well as a massive reduction of the budget. The United States is poised to reap economic benefits from such an integrated approach. The budget and the economic toil of the international war on terror has been a major factor in the push for the withdrawal of forces from Iraq and Afghanistan (Mofid, 2013). Reducing the budget while still playing a crucial role in fighting terrorism internationally is an ideal situation for the American government as it cannot afford to sit back and watch as the threat of international terrorism grows.
Redirecting the focus to the African continent has already started to bear fruits. The American government recognizes that the African continent is one of the areas that is providing a breeding ground for insurgent cells. Failing to address the groups gathering in the African continent will give them time to grow in strength. The American forces and their special skills are being taught to the local military personnel in order to have the capability to handle the threats from insurgents in their regions (Kaldor, 2013). In East Africa, the American military troops are already offering military lessons to the Kenyan and Tanzanians military personnel to equip them in the fight against terrorism. In recent years, the Al shabaab group from Somalia has been wreaking havoc in the region and providing the local troops with the necessary skills will help quench the growing influence of the Islamist group with ties to Al Qaeda (Harper, 2012).
In conclusion, it is evident, that there is a dire need for a plan to handle the American military forces leaving Iraq and Afghanistan. A 10-year-plan is necessary to ensure that the military forces are absorbed back into the American population or re-deployed to new missions that are far less costly compared to the Middle East wars. Refocusing toward the African continent where a growing threat of insurgent groups threatens the locals and the International community has arisen as a viable option. Secondly, the inclusion of ally militaries in the global fight against terrorism has the benefit of reducing the budget and saving funds that will otherwise be put into more economic use within the American development agenda. These two recommendations are already being put into practice, but their effectiveness will be determined by how well they can be implemented.
Bilmes, L. (2013). The financial legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan: How wartime spending decisions will constrain future national security budgets.
Falk, R. (2012). The costs of war: international law, the UN, and world order after Iraq. Routledge.Harper, M. (2012). Getting Somalia Wrong. Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered.House, F. (2013). Freedom in the World 2013. Democratic breakthroughs in the balance.Kaldor, M. (2013). New and old wars: Organised violence in a global era. John Wiley & Sons.Mofid, K. (2013). Economic Consequences of the Gulf War. Routledge.Onuoha, F. C. (2012). Boko Haram: Nigeria’s Extremist Islamic Sect. Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, 29 (2), 1-6.
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