President Obama just shared with the media that the IS-army is a 'unintended consequence' of the USA invasion in Iraq over ten years ago and he came with the amazingly honest insight: "We should aim before we shoot." Many American media seem to be shocked, but I think he's absolutely right and it's even worse, because the USA might as well be the global champion of Unintended Consequences. For decades the country is fuelling its own enemies and this has to stop as soon as possible.
Last week it was revealed that millions of US Dollars paid by the CIA to the Afghan government in 2011 ended up in the hands of Al-Qaeda's leadership buying new weaponry to kill Americans. You would expect that thousands of American citizens would demonstrate against this act of self-destruction, with a leading role for veterans and their families, but we hardly see any signs of protest. Maybe they think it's a one-off mistake by the CIA, but sadly enough it's not. For decades it's part of American foreign policies to create short-term, opportunistic, friendships that often backfire for the country at a later stage. Remember President Reagan who provided weapons and training to the Muslim extremist Taliban in Afghanistan just to undermine the Soviet occupation? As soon as the Russians fled the country the Taliban simply took over and started their sharia-based dictatorship that created a safe-heaven for Osama Bin-Laden, who claimed responsibility for "9/11", and killed thousands of Americans.
During the 'War on Terror' during the last fourteen years billions of US-Dollars were provided to the Afghan regime to buy their loyalty in the fight against Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Millions of these USA-Dollars ended up in the hands of regional warlords, who used a consirable part to restart growing opium poppies, once forbidden by the Taliban regime. Since the USA started its 'War on Terror' in 2001 the heroin production in Afghanistan surged 40-fold. The annual report of the International Narcotics Control Board stated that Afghan poppy fields now occupy a record 209,000 hectares, a 38 percent increase from 2013. Afghanistan is responsible for over 75% of the world's heroin production which is not only killing Afghans - one out of thirty Afghans are addicted to drugs, a tenfold increase since 2005, with devastating effects on not only their economy, but also the economies of Europeans, Russians and again, Americans. According to the head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service "Afghan heroin has killed more then one million people worldwide." In the USA heroin overdose deaths rose from 1,779 to 3,665, doubling the death rate to 2.1 deaths per 100,000 people. And in case these sobering numbers of this 'H-bomb' don't affect you, we're also talking about the stuff that helped killing beloved and gifted people such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and River Phoenix.
USA foreign policies are not only supporting their enemies in Afghanistan, such as heroin producing warlords, corrupt bureaucrats and even Al-Qaeda itself. As we know now, it's the same in Iraq. During the last ten years the USA invested over 25 billion Dollars in the Iraqi army via training and weaponry - and they're still providing training - but most of these US sourced weapons are now seized by the Islamic State, the terrorists that brutally kill people, hate the west and fuel Islamophobia worldwide. And now the only way for the USA to successfully counter Islamic State seems to be to indirectly (via the Iraqi army) collaborate with another interesting new friend: the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, Commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, an organization 'drenched in American blood.'
Yes, you're right, this is a big deal. Billions of US Dollars and temporally 'friendships' are directly and indirectly strengthening America's enemies and kill their own people... We should no longer accept this and search for a way out, but where to start? Finding such a way out is not just an obligation of the USA. Any friend of democracy should no longer work with double standards. Corrupt, dictatorial, human rights violating regimes cannot be befriended allies and you can't sell them weaponry. Last week Sweden gave us an inspiring example by forbidding weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. How on earth's name can any country seriously combat terror when Saudi Arabia is amongst its friends? Ending this partnership might be a better contribution to end terror. The most sustainable way forward is to develop an economy in the west that is no longer predominantly dependent on oil of states like Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
With visionary Democrats like Al Gore and Republicans like George Shulz, who plead last week for a 'Reagan-model for climate change', the USA can become an inspiring world-leader again and at the same time prevent that millions of Dollars are strengthening oil-producing repressive regimes and other warlords on a daily basis.