US FOREIGN POLICY?

Issue

Afghanistan-Why did US announce a 30,000 troop surge to Afghanistan in 2009, only to say they’d be pulled out in 18 months, giving al-Qaida and the Taliban a mental stamina to last at least that long and to plan ahead. Afghanistan is awash in wasted aid programs and corruption. The Taliban is more ascendant in the country than any time since 2001. The Islamic State is increasing its presence, and the U.S. only recently razed a 30-square-mile al-Qaida training camp, which was one of the largest ever to be created.

Libya-This country was the “poster child” for how good Democrats wage war with a “light footprint.” The efforts, almost universally noted, have instead been an unmitigated disaster. US moved into Libya with enough military power to decisively shatter strongman Muammar Gadhafi's regime, but when all saw said and done, US leadership floundered in the post-stabilization process. Radical elements thrived in the power vacuum, spreading across the region. Libya is teetering on the edge of being a failed state, with the local Islamic State affiliate taking more territory and oil resources. ISIS will use their ground as a launching pad for attacks in Europe. A brutal state has been replaced with even more atrocities and human rights abuses. While Gadhafi managed to keep the more militant elements of Islam at bay, the post-Gadhafi scene has provided the perfect opportunity for flourishing Islamic militancy.

Syria-The Syrian Arab Republic is a total disaster. President Bashar al-Assad and rebels opposed to his rule battle each other, as well as ISIL jihadist militants in the Islamic State. This nation in Western Asia borders Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan. UN officials say the suffering in Syria is the worst they've seen during the country's brutal civil war. Where's that foreign policy?