12:32 GMT13 June 2021
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    America's nonstop military actions have not only proven inefficient in eliminating the terrorist threat but have actually increased risk to the United States, retired Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis writes, stressing that the employment of lethal military force that Washington has relied on for past five decades has failed to protect the US.

    It is no secret anymore that Washington's foreign policy of military intervention does not work.

    "The default foreign policy mentality of using lethal military power to solve violence and instability overseas has been exposed as a near-total failure. While no strategy can guarantee success, there are common sense alternatives that offer a rational hope for success. It's time to stop doing what we know doesn't work and try something that has a chance," retired Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, a widely published analyst on national security and foreign policy, writes in his article for the National Interest.

    Although many of the US' reputable thought leaders have been telling the public for years that the Pentagon's overseas operations have been aimed at preventing terrorists from plotting attacks against the United States, this explanation does not merely hold water, according to Davis.

    "Is there something special about the land in Afghanistan and Iraq that the United States must wage wars to prevent radicals from operating there?" he asks.

    What will prevent terrorists from operating elsewhere? If the American troops did secure at great cost Iraq or Afghanistan it does not mean the US would be safer.

    Like a giant octopus, violent extremism has already spread its tentacles across the world.

    So, is there any way out?

    According to the retired US officer, there are five steps that could begin the transition to an effective counterterrorism policy.

    The first goal is to immediately cease using military power to kill people Washington doesn't like.

    Although the Pentagon cannot just close down all its military campaigns en masse, "each mission must be independently examined for utility, consideration for promises the US government might already have made to friendly regimes, and the consequences of rapidly drawing down must be identified."

    Secondly, the days of US endless war must end. Washington should open its eyes to a broader set of solutions.

    Thirdly, the US mission in Afghanistan should be step-by-step reduced to just a diplomatic presence and limited security contingent. Washington should explain to Kabul that the US "cannot permanently provide security for any nation."

    The fourth step is to reinforce US domestic security. It is vitally important to focus on continuous improvement of the FBI, state, and local law enforcement services work.

    And the fifth goal is to protect the US' own borders.

    "There are many valid and difficult issues that need to be resolved, but the best way to prevent future attacks is to prevent terrorists from gaining entry to the US in the first place," the retired US officer emphasizes.

    Remarkably, Davis has a lot of co-thinkers.

    Stephen M. Walt, a professor of international relations at Harvard University, drew attention to the fact that the US interventionism, including overseas invasions and regime-change operations, has not borne any positive fruit.

    "Most people dislike following orders from well-armed foreign occupiers," Walt remarked in his article for Foreign Policy magazine, stressing that Washington should do more "to improve the lives of Americans here at home," and adding that it "might also be the best way to enhance democracy's prospects abroad."

    Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University, also seems disenchanted with the "American military solution." According to the scholar, "the misguided militarization of US foreign policy" is pushing America to the brink of catastrophe.

    In his turn, US scholar A. Trevor Thrall bemoans the fact that the US political establishment has been completely divorced from reality.

    Maybe it's time to follow Davis's advice and deal with what is real?


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    Middle East, US foreign policy, domestic politics, military intervention, interventionism, Afghanistan War, Iraq War, 9/11, NATO, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Pentagon, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, US
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