United States needs to save resources for domestic issues, not foreign

Credit: Christa Hester/Forum Co-Editor Credit: Christa Hester/Forum Co-Editor

The United States of America has been thought of as a superpower since the end of World War II; our government took it upon itself to be a global leader and to be an example for other countries to follow. According to Henry Luce’s famous essay, The American Century, our form of government allows this country the unique ability of being able to offer international aid while still maintaining its own domestic agenda.

However, our country is abusing this “right.” The U.S. hedged its way into Iraq on the basis of removing weapons of mass destruction, a supposedly quick operation that turned into an extremely expensive eight-year war.
More recently, America has been involving itself in the Libyan revolution in solidarity with the United Nations. Although we support the notion of offering support and advocating democracy in foreign countries, at present we cannot afford to spend our money or resources on Libya while our domestic policies continue to suffer.

The current political and military turmoil in Libya began in late February and grew more intense throughout the past month. On March 17, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973, which sanctioned a no-fly zone and the use of “all means necessary” to protect civilians in Libya. Two days later, American forces mounted a campaign to knock out Libya’s air defense systems by attacking radar and communication centers, according to The New York Times. As of March 27, the United States is continuing its air strikes and bombing of Gadhafi’s tanks and aircrafts.

While we sympathize deeply with the Libyan people, we feel that a major military commitment in another foreign country is not conducive to the trend in U.S. government of trying to cut down on spending and allocating money only to essential areas. Especially since our involvement in Libya has no concrete timeline or exit strategy, we have no way of knowing how much money we will have to invest in this military action.
Our economy, though slowly improving, is still in a recession. Jobs are still in short supply. The deficit continues to grow past its already- obscene and utterly unmanageable size. Important programs’ budgets have been or are in danger of being cut.

We as a nation are facing all these problems at home and are already spreading our resources and time thin.
Although it is important to protect national interests and to provide aid to suffering countries, America cannot accomplish anything without a strong domestic base, and at present, we do not have that. For this reason, we believe the government should, for the time being, re-evaluate its involvement in foreign issues and allocate more time and funds to fixing the American economy.

Editorial Dissent

Michael Kahn

The Tartan’s editorial board claims that the United States must focus on domestic priorities and that military intervention in Libya is a mistake. It compared last week’s airstrikes to the invasion of Iraq. This is a mischaracterization of America’s involvement in the international coalition enforcing a United Nations Security Council resolution. Unlike the war in Iraq, there are no American troops on the ground.

This is not a unilateral action. Before international forces stopped them, soldiers and mercenaries loyal to Muammar Gadhafi were bombing unarmed Libyan civilians who had no way to defend themselves. We cannot stand idly by as a government mass-murders the people it has a duty to protect. Far from an unnecessary entanglement in another country’s internal affairs, our support of the UN no-fly zone is a moral imperative.