US: Ineffective Policies

December 3, 2007
By Kyle Haley, Hays, KS

With gas prices rising significantly, controversy in politics, the War in the Middle East, and other problems that seem to be going wrong today. A political activist quoted, “We are the cause of the world that’s gone wrong.” The United Sates foreign policy isn’t effective; therefore, it must be changed for several reasons.

On September 11, 2001, the al Queda terrorist organization struck the two World Trade Centers in New York, and President George W. Bush initiated the War on Terrorism, where he sent United States troops over to Afghanistan to find Osama bin Laden and find nuclear weapons of mass destruction. As the years progressed, President Bush drifted away from his original war proposal and began to move into Iraq to get the mission accomplished. In 2003, he called it, “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Many Americans question what we have accomplished in the four years that we have been there. We found Saddam Hussein, some say by accident, and interrogated him for several months before deciding to kill him. That’s about all that’s gone right for the military and Washington D.C. thus far.
At the beginning of the war in 2003, President Bush asked Congress to grant him and the military $87 billion to supply the troops with the necessary equipment. As of September 2007, the United States taxpayers have dedicated approximately $315 billion dollars. To put that into perspective, imagine stacking several $1 bills on top of each other; it would make a 19, 887 mile high stack, which is enough to wrap the moon around its equator almost three times. Keeping this in mind, President Bush is asking the people of the United States tax payers to donate 4.5 billion more for the next fiscal year to ensure “success” in the war. Not only is it the US economy that’s in distress, but American families as well. Since the end of October, there have been a reported 3859 confirmed deaths, and an estimated 2439 men and women wounded.

President Bush’s 34% approval rating proves that most Americans don’t support the war, so something must be changed. Developing countries in Africa need foreign assistance and no one is better at providing it than the United States. Other countries may be able to help, but no other country has the technology, materials, or resources like the United States. We should shift our focus from Iraq, and put it where it belongs, and where it’s wanted. With genocides, conflict, disease, starvation, and corrupted governments rampant all over Africa, United States commitment is essential to help solve some of their problems. It has been proven successful, when the government proposed its PEPFAR strategy. PEPFAR stands for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The President donated $15 billion to Africa to help solve the problem, and 84% of the money was used, while only 4% was stolen or given away. Imagine if the money spent in Iraq was spent on a problem that the US can solve.

We know that the foreign policy can be changed, but there must be ample reasons why the policy should be changed. There are only eight other countries supporting our troops in the War in Iraq, but over 3.2 million Americans supporting the cause to help the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. If the United States shifted its focus, our foreign alliance would substantially increase. Other countries don’t want us to intervene in Iraq, but they will support humanitarian assistance. There are stipulations that if we increase our alliance and get out of Iraq, we will be seen as the global leader we once were, which will increase and encourage trade and benefit our economy and the way we live. Not only will we be seen as the leaders, but Iraq could possibly decrease its oil prices, which could drop the gas prices down below two dollars, like it was once before.

There are only positive situations that can come out of a policy change, but the most important issue is what must be done to ensure success. It must be a change in politics. Action must be taken in the executive branch, because Congress doesn’t have the ability to influence the President’s decisions. The other way action can be changed is through the President himself; he must have a sudden shift in mindset to where he sees that he is almost at the point of no return that he will dig the United States into a hole so deep, nobody will be able to crawl out.
The President’s shift of focus is the only chance we have of escaping the threat of an economic collapse, another terrorist attack, or even possibly a repeat of the 1920s where we could face another recession. Although many people claim, “we are the cause of the world that’s gone wrong,” it’s not too late to fix it. Something must be done now.

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