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 Policing the World: A Costly Endeavor 

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Policing the World: A Costly Endeavor  22.9.2008 
By Rauf Naqishbendi

September 22, 2008

Since the disintegration of Soviet Union, the United States has become an undisputed world superpower fueled by its giant and powerful economy. However, in the wake of an overstretched military and its exuberant cost, it is questionable whether the U.S. economy can support such in its current form.

Sustaining American supremacy mandates a powerful military complex and thus entails great expenditures beyond the means of the American government's affordability. The defense budget already consumes a good chunk of the total federal budget.

American leaders shy away from confessing the empire buildup, yet they burden the American people with the responsibility of maintaining world peace under the banner of national security.             

Rauf Naqishbendi
The security of any nation is in peril when external forces aim at intruding on its borders or targets the heart of its territory with devastating missiles. Even so, terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of miles away from us, are no more threat to us than to Europe, and for that matter to the rest of the world, in particular the countries breeding them. Therefore, fighting Al-Qaida or the Taliban is as incumbent on the rest of the world as it is upon us. But it has become our problem more than anyone else for we are policing and trying to protect the world, not as a concerned or threatened nation, but as a superpower with an empire to uphold in our grip of control.

Since the end of WII, America has contributed to world peace more than any other nation. The European continent, which used to be a problematic region where two world wars flared up within three decades, has been pacified. Member countries are harmonious politically and are economically united in their prosperity. We managed to disarm Japan, another troublesome country, and to obviate its confrontations with others. With our help, Japan has rendered itself an economic powerhouse. Suffice it to say that economic prosperity, enjoyed by both Europe and Japan, can be attributed to their lack of costly defense expenditures. Remarkably, the world has changed.

Unfortunately, although the problem spots of the past are no longer a problem, new torrents of violence by hideous secret societies are haunting humanity and threatening world security. They are hateful groups, more dangerous than any known to mankind, terrorists aiming at inducing religious war and dividing the world along the religion lines. There needs to be a concerted effort by all nations to fight these groups, particularly, the nations among which these terrorists are breeding and growing. This situation mandates a fight against terrorism. As a superpower, the U.S. should lead the fight with a collective effort by every nation, but not as it stands today, with the U.S. policing the world against terror organizations alone, mostly with American lives and American money.

The economic and political ramification of America´s policing the world includes, first of all, a tremendous cost. Securing world peace alone is, in the short run, very expensive and burdensome to America´s economy. In the long term, such a course can be fatal to its economy should the current trend to continue. The national debt keeps building up, as does the interest on its debt, and we are becoming the biggest debtor nation in a world. As a result our currency has been devalued and inflation is creeping up, resulting in a lower standard of living and economic deterioration.

Second, the problem with maintaining an American empire involves more than the military expense to effectively maintain world peace. The U.S. government has made concessions to other nations inconsistent with its own national interest and the economic well-being of its citizens. For example, to prevent China from becoming a headache to their neighbors and to world peace, the U.S. has helped China improve living conditions so that freedom will be promoted and, ultimately, they will end their long-standing seclusion from the world. That concession was made at the expense of millions of American jobs exported to China as the U.S. government relaxed all regulation regarding the migration of American industries to China, despite the fact that the Chinese establishment can be hostile to us at some point

Third is the problem of bribing countries to gain strategic locations for American military bases. For example, Turkey, a welfare state, has been living on American handouts for decades. The U.S. government has provided a half-a-trillion dollar guaranteed loan to Turkey so we can station our missiles in their country. In doing so, our government has turned a blind eye to the human rights abuses committed by the Turks against Kurdish and Christian minorities in Turkey, violating its moral obligations. The loans to Turkey and many other countries, which they have failed to pay back, eventually have to be cleared from Washington´s books and absorbed by American taxpayers. Since the rise of Al-Qaida, the American government has been buying friends with billions of dollars, money that has been granted to presumed alliances strictly for fighting terrorism. Unfortunately, some of our "friends" have channeled the funds for purposes other than the intended purposes.

Policing the world is a tremendous task that requires befriending some, while alienating others. Supremacy in power and prestige doesn´t go unchallenged. A rogue regime, such as the Iranian Mullahs, can be difficult to deal with. While we gain gratitude from countries like Georgia and Poland, our policies have been resented by major European industrial nations, resulting in their lack of willingness to actively participate in major undertakings such as the war in Iraq.

Policing the world is carried out mainly by America and is sponsored by hard-earned American taxpayers´ money. Although the next president must address this problem, neither of the two candidates has. Nevertheless, both candidates have made a commitment to provide leadership in order to restore American respectability in our world. The world has received our services free for a long time, and it is not easy to suddenly have to share the burden, especially when our reputation has been spoiled so badly that there is no nimble way to timely repair it. In the meantime, we will have to carry the burden and pay the cost, but for how long?

Rauf Naqishbendi is a contributing columnist for Kurdish Websites, American Chronicle and has written Op/Ed pages for the Los Angeles Times. He has just completed his memoirs entitled "The Garden Of The Poets" which reads as a novel depicting his experience and the subsequent 1988 bombing of his hometown with chemical and biological weapons by Saddam Hussein. It is the story of his people's suffering. Rauf Naqishbendi is a software engineer in San Francisco Bay Area.

The contents of this article reflect the author's personal opinions, and we accept no responsibility for the views or opinions expressed in the articles either direct or indirect.

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