One hand always tied behind its back

By Christopher M. O'Leary
web posted June 1999

Just as the United States military thought it could relax from the official end of the bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, our number is being called once again. It's not easy still maintaining the title of "world police" in an endlessly conflicting world. The United States military, which has now committed 7 000 troops to the relief effort in Kosovo, are going to be quite busy over the next year.

Last week in the Yellow Sea, the North and South Koreans played yet another game of whose the toughest kid on the block. But this time someone gained the upper hand by actually using force. Reports from the area verify that a North Korean torpedo vessel was sunk, killing all 17 crewmembers. Its seems that this intimidation game has caught the attention of the United States. Two U.S. Navy guided missile cruisers have been ordered into the hostile waters of the Yellow Sea to avert any escalation of these hostilities.

More conflict is beginning to escalate in the Arabian Sea. India put its navy on alert recently after receiving report of a build up of Pakistan's fleet in the area. My question is how long until American destroyers are ordered into the Arabian Sea to avert an escalation of war between the warring nations. Of course there is still the everyday threat of our sometimes forgotten nemesis Iraq. With the relief effort in Kosovo, daily reports of conflicts in the Iraqi no-fly zones sometimes don't always make the headlines.

My concern, rather my prediction is that the U.S. military is going to no doubt be involved in all of these conflicts and spread its self quite thin. Granted I realize that the U.S. military is not run by a bunch of idiots. I know that the U.S. military is capable of fighting two major wars anywhere in the world at the same time. But it just seems to me that the role of being the world police is a never-ending task.

Why will we become involved and even bogged down in all of these conflicts you ask? Well we all ready know that the clean-up effort in Kosovo will have American troops there for at least a year if not more. The 37 000 American troops already stationed along the border between North and South Korea automatically draws our attention to this conflict. India and Pakistan have just recently made it clear to the rest of the world that they are now armed with nuclear weapons. So it is very vital to the interests of the U.S. as well as the world to maintain peace between these two nations to prevent a nuclear confrontation.

As Americans our right to free speech allows us to protest our ongoing role as the "world police", and most of us take advantage of this right. But in all reality it really doesn't matter much because what is being done, needs to be done. The fantasy of the U.S. becoming an isolationist nation and minding our own business is just that, a fantasy.

The U.S. is the world police because the U.S. is made up of the entire world. Walk outside your front door and look around. Look at all of us, all different and unique in our own ways. We are a nation created, and still being created from people from around the world. That is why we spent billions of dollars trying to defend a race of people in a little part of the world called Kosovo which is lacking any significant financial importance.

America will always have to intervene and maintain order throughout the world, because the U.S. is a country with the whole world inside itself. This is positive because diversity is what America thrives upon. But it is at the same time self destructive because it will always hinder the United States' judgment and leave the U.S. going into any conflict with one hand always tied behind its back.


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