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Bob McMillanAn Opinion

By Bob McMillan
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Path To?

As the United States pursues a path to exit Iraq and Afghanistan, I have to ask myself where will the United States and Israel be in the next few years?

In Iraq, we already see more attacks on innocent people every few days. Suicide murderers are blowing themselves up regularly.

Things are no different in Afghanistan. Just a few weeks ago 31 U.S. special operation troops and seven Afghan soldiers were killed by the Taliban when a U.S. helicopter was shot down by rocket fire. And the cowwrruption in Afghanistan continues.

The interesting part of each country is really the history of turmoil both have seen. The first modern day involvement with Iraq came after Saddam Hussein ordered his troops to invade Kuwait. The response by President George H.W. Bush was to free Kuwait but not to topple Saddam Hussein. His fear was the issue of stability in Iraq. And that has played out fully, after his son, President George W. Bush, toppled Hussein, and we occupied Iraq.

George H.W. Bush was criticized for not taking Bagdad and his son was criticized for ousting Saddam Hussein and taking over Bagdad. I guess the old adage that “you can never win” played out in Iraq for the Bush presidents.

Just remember that in the 1980s we sided with Iran in the war between Iraq and Iran. Now, we are completely at odds with Iran. When we leave Iraq completely, I predict chaos.

Turning to Afghanistan, there has been a history of failure over hundreds of years by Great Britain and Russia. While our involvement in Afghanistan was justified after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, as in Iraq, I predict total chaos when we leave.

Our withdrawal from the area is currently certain. But, we have to keep in mind that Iran is developing a nuclear capability. In addition, Pakistan, India, and Israel have nuclear weapons.

Beyond becoming a safe haven for the Taliban and Al Quaeda, we have to ask ourselves: what does our withdrawal from the region mean for Israel? Egypt has withdrawn its ambassador from Israel. Syria is in the middle of turmoil.

The entire region should be of great concern to the people of the United States. At the same time it is difficult to focus on countries thousands of miles away when here unemployment is over nine percent and an economy is shattered.

Again, I have real concerns for Israel, one of our strongest allies in the world. The retreat of the United States could mean that Israel will be forced to take action, particularly if Iran moves further to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

We live in a complicated world, and it will take decades before we see normalcy around the globe.

Robert McMillan Website: www.bobmcmillan.net