50 years... 60 years and still the Forces of the Occupation remain. The few years Americans have had a military presence in Baghdad pales by comparison.
Yet where are the outcries? Billions... trillions of dollars spent on military Occupations after trillions of dollars spent on warfare. Yet no leader has been challenged or criticized for the enormous drain on the economy or the immoral action of decades of Occupation. Iraq is a mere puddle in the oceanic history of Occupation. But memories are short.
When, when I say, will Germany and South Korea have economies and democratic political systems strong enough for U.S. troops to end their Occupation? How long after defeating an enemy must the U.S. stay to ensure democracy and world safety? It is 2006 and here are the Occupation Forces still deployed:
|South Korea (United States Forces Korea)||32,744|
|Japan (United States Forces Japan)||35,307|
That's nearly half of the Occupation Forces deployed to the present war zone of Iraq. That's about 10% of the deployed forces from World War II and 50% of the deployed forces from the Korean War.
With the exception of Italy, the countries listed above are beating our butts in many economic arenas. So why are we there?
It seems that American presidents... Democrats and Republicans... just like the idea of having the American military deployed around the world. The real question is: who is the enemy and why are they our enemy? In a world where the U.S. is roundly criticized for taking military action and having Occupation Forces, perhaps the time has come to take a different tactic.
Perhaps the U.S. should withdraw from all military locations around the world and let other nations fend for themselves. Bring the military home and be ready for any threat to the U.S. When, not if, we are attacked, go after the attackers with ruthlessness. But forget occupying attackers' countries. We spend too much being "good guys". Attack, destroy, withdraw. Leave the attackers in a state of chaos... and take out their supporters for good measure. No more stick and carrot. Just stick. Then forget about them for the next 50 years while they try to rebuild.
Let Germany and Italy deal with the oozing Muslim invasion of their countries. Let Japan deal with China. Let South Korea spend its profits from Samsung and Hyundai on guarding its own borders.
Sure, it's a high-risk strategy, but it is better than having Occupations Forces someplace for a few years... and trying to be "good guys" spreading "democracy" to the singular-minded. Take all of the money we spend protecting the world and replace it with an effort to create a Fortress America where we are self-sufficient and can tell the rest of the world to solve their own problems... and leave us alone... or else... and stay away... we don't like you anymore....
Hey, "Fortress America"... that's catchy. Wonder why no one else thought of that?
American exceptionalism oscillates between isolationism and evangelicalism. Virtue must be protected in America from a corrupt world—or imposed by America on a corrupt world. At times (such as the two decades between the First and Second World Wars), American exceptionalists have wanted to create a Fortress America and leave the rest of the world to succumb to decadence, anarchy, and tyranny. In other circumstances, American exceptionalists have been energized by a millennial fervor for reforming the world. The two impulses have sometimes coexisted. In the 1890s, for example, one fervent Protestant evangelical politician, William Jennings Bryan, denounced American imperialism, and an equally fervent Protestant evangelical preacher, Josiah Strong, argued that it was America’s destiny to Christianize the world by means of an expansive foreign policy.
The isolationist wing and the evangelical wing of American exceptionalism share a dread of alliances: It might be necessary to make immoral concessions to allies to enlarge or maintain a coalition, and the purity of America’s purpose in foreign policy would then be diluted. Even worse, alliances might infect the godly American republic with Old World viruses—autocracy, perhaps, or collectivism. This fear explains why the United States participated in World War I as an associated power, not an ally. It explains, too, why the United States for many years refused to grant diplomatic recognition to the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China; merely to engage in ordinary diplomatic relations with an evil regime is to condone its crimes. American exceptionalism is responsible as well for the frequent use of economic and military sanctions to punish all kinds of transgressions by foreign countries. And its influence can be sense both in the American Left’s enthusiasm for private disinvestment campaigns against countries with objectionable governments and in much of the American Right’s reflexive unilateralism and suspicion of international organizations and treaties.
Okay, so maybe a few people have thought about it....