On July 12, 2007, in the midst of cries from politicians to remove troops from Iraq, President George W. Bush issued a warning of the daunting terror threat to come in the future if he decided to take boots off the ground.
Putting aside your opinion of President Bush and his policies, his assessment was very accurate. After President Obama withdrew American troops from Iraq, despite the advice of our military commanders to keep them stationed there, terrorist organizations were allowed to regain a stronghold in Iraq and begin recruiting terrorists from other regions, such as Syria. With the absence of the United States in Iraq, ISIS has become a major terror threat worldwide. They have proven they aren’t the “JV team” that President Obama once referred to them as. ISIS has beheaded two American journalists and a French hostage, has been linked to a plot to behead people in the streets of Australia, and has killed many women and children in Iraq. The current news surrounding ISIS has reminded me of the 3 reasons why we fight according to Thucydides: fear, honor, and interest. All of these reasons can be applied to why the United States is going to war with ISIS.
Whenever a terrorist organization like ISIS gets a lot of media attention, people can’t help but be fearful and look to their government to do something about it. As strong as our nation is, a terrorist threat is never something that we should take lightly no matter who poses the danger. Even though America is theoretically always in danger of a terrorist attack, we must suppress any known terror groups, like ISIS, before they become more dangerous. In order to stop a future attack and reduce our fear, it’s crucial that the United States acts quickly and definitively to put an end to the ISIS threat and instill some stability in Iraq’s government. Regardless of whether you think the United States is over exaggerating the danger of ISIS or not, it’s important that we stop the terrorist threat in Iraq to alleviate Americans’ fear. If the government doesn’t address our fear of ISIS in a timely manner, then we will allow ISIS to grow and become more intimidating, which will only cause us to fear them more. While I would primarily suggest using diplomacy to settle differences with other nations, terrorist organizations, like ISIS and al Qaeda, have proven to be uninterested in peace and must be handled through military action.
Honor is another reason for American intervention in Iraq. As a world power, some people believe it’s America’s duty to be involved in international affairs and protect democracy around the world. Other people, however, think we need to deviate from our “savior” mentality and avoid involvement on the world stage. Whether you advocate for American intervention or not, the growth of ISIS puts the world in danger, which calls for the United States to live up to its honor as a world leader and address the situation. The U.S. government is also obligated to intervene in the Middle East to serve its duty of protecting the American people both at home and abroad and prevent a possible terror attack on U.S. soil. Deploying troops back to Iraq is more than just defeating ISIS: It’s a matter of defending our honor as the protector of democracy worldwide. If the United States doesn’t fulfill this duty, then who will? We are compelled to intervene in Iraq to live up to our honor as an international watchdog.
The last reason why The United States is at war with ISIS is through interest. It’s in the United States’ best interest to ensure peace internationally. Therefore, we must remain a presence in the Middle East to subdue any terror groups. Even though many Americans are ambivalent about getting involved in foreign affairs, ISIS will continue to grow and become an even greater international threat if the United States doesn’t intervene. Our presence in Iraq will also serve our economic interests in the Middle East.
Lastly, I don’t mean to sound like a war hawk. If I appear eager to deploy troops to Iraq, it’s because I believe the threat ISIS poses to the United States is real. I value the life of American soldiers and certainly don’t want to see any more American blood shed in Iraq. This is simply a matter of eliminating the terrorist threat to reduce our fear, uphold our honor, and protect our interests. When the United States has troops deployed in Iraq, the growth of terrorist organizations is hindered. It’s when U.S. troops leave Iraq that terrorist organizations are able to rally support, gain control of government, and carry out their agenda. It’s critical that U.S. troops be stationed in Iraq for the foreseeable future until there is more stability in the nation’s government.