Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Iranian Countdown and the Ramp-Up Overseas

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I know that you may tell me that they are not related - Afghanistan and Iran. On the surface, you may be right. However, a deeper look will reveal that in many ways, they are one and the same regarding goals and relevancy to American sovereignty.

And, again, American sovereignty - not health care reform, "cash for clunkers", or bank bailouts - is the number one business that the American federal government is around for. With the crisis in Afghanistan (prompting a ramp up of 30,000 troops) and the latest in Iran, it is clear that our military must receive our support on all fronts in order to secure American safety on all accounts.

The question of winning the wars in the Middle East was always about securing the nation from terrorism. However, the Bush Doctrine of the 21st century took this initial goal to another level, understanding that by stabilizing the region with American-friendly leaders (if not exclusively American-leaning allies), we are more capable of lessening the threats of both terrorism from groups such as al-Queda as well as threats from nations such as Iran. Where the threat of a dirty bomb coming into the nation is one that keeps many Americans up at night (in fear but also in thoughts working to hold off such attacks), the continued march of a nuclear Iran is a bigger threat that casts a long shadow over the makeup of the region moving forward.

With the establishment of a nuclear Iran, the environment of the Middle East shifts dramatically. Israel becomes more of an antsy nation more inclined for self-protective measures (including preemptive strikes) that can quickly destabilize the region. Iran's desires to be a strong leader among Islamic nations could prove to rile up extremist factions favorable to Iran's positions (both secular and religious) that could lead to increased terrorism - both organized and self-perpetuated. The strength of a nuclear Iran could lead to an expansion of risk-taking activities by other rogue nations. Countries such as North Korea need no further excuse to move forward with actions that contravene the goodwill of the international community.

Which is why the Iranian countdown to nuclear armament and the ramp-up of troops for Afghanistan are related, even if the immediate military goals are not.

Victory in both Iraq and Afghanistan are vital to long-term stability and safety for the American people. Because the nature of threats against our nation's sovereignty are diverse in nature in today's times, America must use war theatres in ways that signal multiple messages throughout the world community simultaneously. The battles to secure regions previously held by terrorist-friendly regimes must also secure opportunities to pressure Iran and other like-minded factions within the Middle East to return to the table with the global community with the best of intentions and the most honest of declarations. These victories - done with honor, respect, and with might - are our best chances to provide Iran a clear roadmap on what next steps may be as their leadership continues to lie, conceal, and press on with their nuclear dreams: either you will pursue open peace with us or you will be handled along with other shadowy forces attempting to spread destabilization and horror through freedom-limiting threats, ill-intended pursuits, and violent behavior.
Those upset with President Obama's decision to send additional troops to fight "...an unwinnable situation in Afghanistan..." miss the point. Without victories in Iraq and Afghanistan, we open the doors to increased terrorism domestically (as even the battles being fought overseas has not completely stopped domestic sympathizers from attempting to ramp up their efforts) but also invite Iran to fill the void of nationalized terror that was previously occupied by the late Saddam Hussein, now with the additional nightmare of nuclear weaponry and an expressed disrespect for the state of Israel. In a situation where we can prevent two political travesties (and global threats) with one collective blow, filling that void and restarting the process of a galvanizing force in the Middle East focused on creating a syndicate against the Western world is not acceptable.
With one collective blow, we can temper this effort. We may be able to help win the ideological and diplomatic war with Iran through ensuring that we win in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus, it starts again with Obama's 30,000, a ramp-up in troops that perhaps comes in the nick of time to halt the Iranian countdown to inclusion in the global nuclear community.

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