Exit Strategies

How to Save the World and Create Jobs

There’s a very interesting article by Andrew Bacevich at TNR.  The author lists five things wrong with the American establishment’s view of the world.  Among them are...

...for decades now, a tendency to overinflate threats and to privilege near-term objectives over long-term interests has been a persistent hallmark of American statecraft. Time and again, the “solution” hyped to remedy today’s problem breeds tomorrow’s “crisis.” Hyper-activism yields unintended and all too frequently baleful consequences. The record of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan over the past 30 years offers a case in point.

This passage made me think of this story I saw the other day.

The Obama administration is set to notify Congress of plans to offer advanced aircraft to Saudi Arabia worth up to $60 billion, the largest U.S. arms deal ever, and is in talks with the kingdom about potential naval and missile-defense upgrades that could be worth tens of billions of dollars more.

The administration plans to tout the $60 billion package as a major job creator—supporting at least 75,000 jobs, according to company estimates—and sees the sale of advanced fighter jets and military helicopters to key Middle Eastern ally Riyadh as part of a broader policy aimed at shoring up Arab allies against Iran. 

In the 1980s the US armed Saddam and the Afghani mujahideen in their fights against Iran and the Soviet Union.  Over the next fifteen years we’d fight Saddam and the Afghani mujahideen.  What could possibly go wrong here?