Key to American’s global dominance and national security lies with the strength of our hegemony. American people needs to understand that the fact no foreign invaders have fired a single round of bullet into the US territories since Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is due to the effective use of our network of allies and a successful efforts in mutual defensive cooperation. We started NATO to not only neutralize the Soviet iron curtain, but to create a buffer zone between potential threats and American soil. However, this objective would not sit well with our allies in the buffer zone unless we stay focused to protect their interest and be committed about their own safety.
If you all followed news, you could see the US responded tactfully to avert a possible NATO melt down and world war 3 during the Russian invasion of Georgia. It was closest the world ever got into WW3, no exaggeration. Let me ellaborate a bit, Russians invaded Georgia under the banner of “humanitarian aid” and “peacekeeping” claimed by Putin and his foreign affairs front. When Georgian president pleaded help from US, the US government responded after careful thought process by sending its own ships and planes to Georgia and also called it a “humanitarian aid”. If you did not get what has just happened right there, Bush pretty much called Putin’s bluff right there. Soon after that, Putin declared that they temporarily lost control of the front line soldiers and they were not responsible for the Russian army actions there, and then they backed off.
What is really exciting here is this is one of the biggest battle of wits by Russian and American leader in this century. What Russians hate the most is having NATO watching over them, it sticks out like a sore thumb, to think Americans will be able to add two former Soviet states(Ukraine and Georgia pledged to join NATO per IPAP) to the defensive pact is very unsettling for them. I mean, the Baltic states were never really Soviet-friendly, Russia could take their defection with reasonable understanding. But Ukraine and Georgia?! the most important part about United States engagement in Iraq is to create a “Middle East Corridor” for strategic purpose and connect US allies and forces from Persian Gulf to the NATO allies. Take a look at the beautiful middle east map here.
As we know, we are buddies with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, and Qatar. That gives us a good deal of control over Persian Gulf ever since old Bush achieved that from Operation Desert Storm. If you watched the movie “W”, you will realize what George W Bush was talking about when he said he needs to finish the job that his father did not finish. Take Iraq. if you look at the map again, you will see how controlling Iraq does give a free access from persian Gulf to our pledged NATO allies in Georgia, Ukraine, and rest of Europe. THAT strategic value alone is worth 10 times of Iraqi oil reserve. THAT, my friend, is the big picture, and what our sons and daughters died for. I dont even want tio start on the strategic importance of Afghanistan being one of the most sought places in the history of mankind by many powerful empires ever existed.
Strength of America relies on strength of its allies, like NATO. And strength of NATO comes from confidence of member states. American government in the most recent showdown with Russia proved that US is committed to no member state is left behind principle, the very principle that guarantees the sustainability of the alliance. We do not want to demonstrate weakness by showing fear. Many pundits claimed that the US would do nothing to help Georgia on grounds of technicality for Georgia is merely a “pledged member” as America was spreading thin with all the war events. I am very glad that the Bush administration that time realized the danger of succumbing to that solution provided by pundits.
Back to our war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, we need to stay since we have invested so much into this already. the regions are not yet stable, so we need to make sure we still have enemies to fight with. hence the limited disclosure on capture of key culprits. There is no point to stay if we have done what we claimed to do — kill terrorists. Once the regions are stabilized with proper democratic systems put in place, Americans can then be more liberal about these information for people no longer care about Osama or Omar and their terrorist cronies.