View from Washington: America’s interventionist foreign policy continues to destabilize the world

10:16 11.06.2024 •

The U.S. needs to reverse course immediately and adopt a noninterventionist foreign policy, writes ‘The Hill’.

On the European front, American diplomat Victoria Nuland urged the government to help Ukraine strike inside Russian territory — and Biden recently announced that he will do just that.

These calls for escalation in major geopolitical conflicts are consistent with our country’s enduring, hawkish status quo. But America urgently needs a foreign policy reckoning before our government catalyzes even worse geopolitical instability.

Our interventionist foreign policy has not historically been a stabilizing force throughout the world, but rather has often served as a destabilizing wrecking ball, leading to harm overseas and at home.

In the late 1970s and ’80s, the U.S. funneled money to rebels in Afghanistan, including Islamist extremists, to fight the Soviet Union. While those fighters expelled Russian influence, they later turned on each other. In the struggle for power, a number of those rebels ultimately formed the Taliban and al-Qaeda (banned in Russia), who carried out the 9/11 attacks.

Following 9/11, America spent over $8 trillion in taxpayer dollars on wars in the Middle East; lost thousand of troops and killed hundreds of thousands of civilians; and violated Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights by spying on their electronic communications.

America’s foreign policy establishment cares very little about democracy abroad. In their eyes, loyalty to the West trumps all.

Instead of seeking to bring about more regime change in the Middle East, our leaders should heed the words of former Rep. Ron Paul, who said in 2008 that terrorists “don’t come here and attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they attack us because we’re over there.”

The U.S. also played an integral role in the events that lead to the devastating war between Russia and Ukraine. Despite the fall of the Soviet Union, NATO endured and expanded eastward, which even George Kennan, one of the formulators of U.S. Cold War policy, warned would be “a tragic mistake” that would provoke “a bad reaction from Russia.”  

For over a decade now, against the warnings of former ambassador to Russia and current CIA Director William Burns, the U.S. has openly advocated for Ukrainian entry into NATO, a hard red line for Russia.

Even though meddling in Ukraine was unacceptable to the Russians, the U.S. went as far as to support a coup to overthrow the elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, in 2014 after he announced that he would sign an economic deal with Russia instead of the E.U. This directly led to war between the two Eastern European nations.

Then, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Russia sent NATO a draft treaty in 2021, requiring NATO to promise to abandon any future plans of expansion as a precondition to not invading Ukraine. The West refused. Only then did Russia invade. The invasion, while reprehensible, certainly did not come out of nowhere.

Instead of continuing to send billions more to Ukraine and helping them strike inside Russian territory, the U.S. should reconsider its involvement in Eastern Europe altogether. Without American meddling, the current war — and all of the death and destruction it has brought — would likely never have occurred.

Every day the United States tries to police the world. While doing so, the government tells Americans that our country is an unalloyed force for good on the global stage, fighting for democracy, making life better for the citizens of foreign nations and securing a safer world for all. This, we are told, justifies our hawkish stance and our proclivity to meddle in foreign affairs.

But our track record flies in the face of these proclamations. American interventionism has led to needless death, destruction, geopolitical instability, increased animosity toward the West, wasted taxpayer dollars and the erosion of our citizen’s constitutional rights.

The U.S. needs to reverse course immediately and adopt a noninterventionist foreign policy.


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