International Influence – Have We Gone Too Far?

The United States military maintains partnerships around the world. Many units are directly affiliated with sister units from other countries that routinely train together. These partnerships can be beneficial to understand and assess future capabilities and actions by those forces. It can also be a tool towards unifying common goals. Or, as has been unfortunately seen throughout the years, it can be a means to an end where punitive campaigns are waged by US trained combatants, often with effects that can be both long term and devastating.

The purpose is simple; instead of fighting a war in a foreign country, train an army from that country to fight the war on your behalf. From a political standpoint, it is much easier to explain deaths when their flag draped caskets are not landing at your local airport for burial. The flip side is that foreign militaries rarely do what we hope they will do, simply because their priorities are often vastly different from our own.

In 2013, a U.S. trained military from Congo, the 391st Commando Battalion, went on to rape 97 women and 33 girls as young as six years old while they fled from incoming rebel forces. In 2012, a Captain in Mali that had been extensively trained in the United States led a coup that overthrew the government. These are simply two examples but, as American military leaders identified, regardless of who committed the crime the American foreign policy, and America as a whole, is given the blame.

GlobeConsider then the application of foreign trained militaries and militias in Ukraine and Syria. The Syrian war has been going on for years and the official number of moderately trained soldiers rests significantly lower than the 5,000 per year planned by the administration. In Ukraine, after multiple campaigns by the Ukrainian military, many of the well trained soldiers had been injured and killed. In their place, volunteers and draftees filled the ranks. As the reports came in about the bombing and shelling of civilian villages, an Amnesty International was on the scene during fighting in February of 2015 to observe the effects of unguided munitions being used in the villages of Donestk and Debaltseve.

In war, no side is innocent. Each faces its own demons and ghosts, fights for its own purposes, and justifies its own actions as being justified. The reality is that if a war is worth fighting, it should be fought by true participants, not by the puppeteers who would play with the strings from afar. When great nations manipulate and toy with smaller nations to attain strategic purposes, we find ourselves dangerously close to recent times that we have worked hard to stay away from.

We find the American and Soviet influences in Vietnam as being eerily similar. We see the connections amongst our historical past, mistakes we have sworn we would not repeat. We understand as a nation that we can influence the underdog both financially and through enticement with power. It is important to take a step back and ask ourselves if this is the path we want to be on though. While we face economic shortages back home, we are giving money to allies of debatable honesty. As we scorn the conduct of our enemies, we ignore the actions of our allies.

We are a great nation, one which has reached out to all parts of the world and influenced each country both great and small. At some point we need to assess the purpose of our foreign policy and whether it will be one for positive purposes, or one for negative ones.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Kyle Soler

Kyle Soler is an active duty Infantry Officer serving in the US Army. He has served in the military for more than 10 years, working his way from an Infantry Squad Leader to a Company Commander with multiple combat deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan in between. Kyle earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Willamette University, and three Master degrees from Jones International University in Information Security Management, Health Care Management, and International Business. He also holds certifications in Six Sigma Lean and Six Sigma Lean Black Belt. His primary focus is realigning organizational priorities to get the most out of the time available in terms of training and development. Prior to entering military service, he worked as a fire fighter and an EMT. His areas of knowledge include military, training, leadership, disaster and continuity planning.
Kyle Soler

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