by Stephen Bloshuk
As time passes, it seems that the many violent conflicts that are happening in the Middle East will never end. The United States, whose troops have been active in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, continues to fight in an attempt to politically and socially stabilize two countries that have been torn apart by war.
Over time, we have believed that we would see the end of these disputes soon, and that all of the men and women of our armed forces would return home permanently. Unfortunately, this hope is eventually shattered by one of the countless public announcements of troop deployment extensions.
This trend repeated itself on October 15, when President Barack Obama announced that he would be leaving 9,800 troops in the Middle East until 2017. Obama, in a previous press conference, had stated that all American troops would be removed from Afghanistan and Iraq by the end of 2015.
Obama, in his public address on this matterss, stated that he was not withdrawing these troops because the Afghani government, despite their advances in fighting for their national rights, was “…not as strong as they need to be” to maintain the security and stability of their country.
He also stated that the troops would remain because of “…Americans’ commitment to you and to a secure, stable, and unified Afghanistan that stands firm.”
Obama’s decision has been a source of debate within the community of political analysts- while some support his dedication to the stabilization of this area, others see it as a betrayal of his promise to end the war in the Middle East, as well as a possible sign of perpetual war.
The unpredictability of Afghanistan and Iraq’s political and social environments makes it extremely difficult for us to see a clear path to peace between all of the Middle Eastern nations. What is clear, however, is that that path will be paved not by Obama, but by his successor.