- For the mess it always leaves behind
While US President Donald Trump’s suggestion to his European allies that they should themselves deal with those of their citizens who were returning after having gone off to Syria to fight for ISIS, because the USA would not spend money to jail them in Guantanamo Bat, might seem like one of his always controversial, frequently disastrous, off-the-cuff remarks about US foreign policy, it is actually very much in the mainstream. It reflects with accuracy a marked US tendency to tell its allies to deal with a nasty mess it has created.
Pakistan has been a victim of this sort of behaviour, as long ago as three decades ago, when it was told to deal with the situation resulting from the Afghan Jihad, which the USA had seen as a war against ‘godless communism’ when it had been prepared to fight the USSR ‘down to the last Afghan’. That situation saw Pakistan having to deal with the refugee problem, the Kalashnikov culture and the proliferation of heroin. The USA then left both Afghanistan and Pakistan alone until 9/11 forced it back into the region. After two decades of trying to wipe out the Taliban, it is on the verge of leaving Afghanistan, with Pakistan still having to deal with the fallout.
Even the situation President Trump refers to, that of ISIL fighters returning to Europe, is caused arguably by US support for the Zionist entity, thus destabilising the entire region, though more immediately by the destruction of the Iraqi state and the resultant chaos there, as well as chaos furthered in Syria by the US creation of the Free Syrian Army. And ISIL itself has at its core fighters who cut their teeth in Afghanistan, fighting incidentally for the USA against the USSR. President Trump is by no means the only member of the US establishment who tries to duck the USA’s responsibility for the creation of enemies who then turn upon it. However, he has an opportunity to remedy this historic wrong if he could take the USA onto a path where it does not act irrationally or vengefully, but for the good of the entire world rather than that of the USA alone.