After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement that Canada would halt its participation in the bombing campaign in the Middle East, I was happy to finally hear a little common sense in the West’s foreign policy. Our eagerness to fight the Islamic State has led us to quickly jump to the support of any attempt at destroying it as quickly as possible.
Stephen Harper’s reaction to ISIS and his support of the US’s bombing efforts was no surprise, but I must admit that Trudeau’s decision was, especially given that he made it shortly after being elected.
This decision is, I hope, a start to a new trend for the beginning of quasi-isolationism in regards to our foreign policies, particularly in the Middle East.
Why? Because not only are our efforts to eradicate ISIS futile, they are also the height of hypocrisy. Putin’s incredibly successful bombing campaign in Syria demonstrates just how ridiculous and pathetic our efforts have been. In one week, Russia single handedly pushed back ISIS farther than the West has since the beginning of our participation in the bombing campaign.
The Kurds’ abilities to fight ISIS have proven to be sufficient despite Turkey’s relentless bombing. Contrary to popular belief, Turkey, one of our allies, has not been significantly bombing ISIS but rather has taken this opportunity amidst the chaos to solve a long-term problem they’ve been having at home: the Kurds.
Furthermore, Turkish officials have been directly linked to the Islamic State’s successful oil exportation by buying up their contraband stocks. It’s no secret that some of our most important allies in the Middle East are the root cause of the Islamic State’s success, from Turkey buying up oil supplies and bombing the Kurds to Saudi Arabia’s direct financing of terrorism. It’s completely illogical to pursue a venture that our allies in the Middle East undermine.
The Syrian situation, and even the Middle Eastern situation, has become far too complicated thanks to our involvement for us to even consider further participation in the chaos.
Even if it is the West’s (in this case I primarily mean the United States) fault that this situation has become so complicated, we must admit defeat and withdraw.
This may cause public outcry, because we would be leaving our mess for others to clean up, but our cleaning skills have proven to be inefficient and simply terrible: Afghanistan being a case in point.
Packing our bags and leaving might seem cowardly at first, but it’s the lesser of two evils. Leaving would allow the concerned countries that are directly involved to find a resolution to their conflict without the chaotic interference of the West.
So should we just let them fight it out? Essentially yes; war is no game, people will be killed but that’s inevitable no matter whether the West is involved or not. So what if ISIS wins? Then history will play its course, every people has a right to revolution. ISIS violence and barbaric methods will be the cause of it’s own destruction, no people will willingly submit to such atrocities and therefore internal upheaval will be inevitable.
Where foreign policy is concerned, our long-term reasoning has taken its toll; politicians are more concerned with satisfaction ratings than making the right decisions for long terms solutions. Trudeau’s decision is, hopefully, a fresh start in foreign policy-making, and if successful should be considered as a model for western states.