Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Jul 23, 2011

Extension of American Troops in Iraq

Recently, the new Secretary of Defense, Mr. Panetta, traveled to Iraq to pressure the Iraq government to request the extended stay of American troops in Iraq.

The 2008 agreement requires the removal of all American soldiers from Iraq by the end of 2011. It is of interest to observe that a number of high ranking American politicians, from the vice president to the chief of the armed forces, in addition to the ex and present secretaries of defense, traveled to Iraq during 2011 in attempts to convince the Iraq government to extend the stay of American troops in Iraq. The main rationale that has been used is that Iran poses a threat to Iraq. Another reason they give is that the Iraqi army is not yet ready to assume the task of defending Iraq. In June 15 American soldiers were killed. The U.S. accused Iran supporters in Iraq of the killings. The extension to keep American troops in Iraq requires more defense spending while the U.S. government is facing a difficult financial situation. A tug of war is going on in Congress, where the majority of Republicans are against raising the ceiling for borrowing. The foreign debt of the U.S. stands at $14.3 trillion and the Obama administration still wants to delay the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The cost of the Iraq invasion, which has been going on for 9 years, has been estimated to exceed $3 trillion. If you add the cost of the war in Afghanistan, which has been going on for more than 10 years, it is another $1.5 trillion of borrowed money to fight wars by choice that were initiated by President George W. Bush. Bush doubled American foreign debt during his eight years of presidency (2000-2008). He raised the debt ceiling four times during his tenure and the defense budget increased from $379 billion in 1998 or $1500 per person to$687 billion in 2009 or $2500 per person.

Despite that fact, the Republican party in Congress and the White House were responsible for starting both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and now are pushing to lower the budget deficit by proposing cuts in social security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement spending without considering defense budget cuts. It is unfortunate that what President Eisenhower warned the public about regarding the danger of the American Military Industrial Complex is turning out to be true.

The majority of American voters are politically illiterate. The majority of the members of Congress, sent to represent the American people, work for the lobbyists who grease the wheels of their politicians. May God have mercy on the unaware American citizens who are not knowledgeable of how their political system operates.

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