weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.”1 Thus, Afghanistan is already a weak country in terms of having to deal with poverty, without even acknowledging the fact that it is a country occupied with American troops. Afghanistan serves as a strategical base for much of Asia Minor, and as such, is an important stomping ground for the Taliban—who have been connected to Al-Qaeda. It is the hope that by controlling Afghanistan, the U.S. is effectively controlling the war on terror. However, as General Petraeus warns, progress is not only shaky, but it’s also possible to regress.
It was General Petraeus’s “…assessment that the momentum achieved by the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2005 has been arrested in much of the country and reversed in a number of important areas. However, [progress] is also fragile and reversible…[and] work [remains to be done…to solidify and expand our gains in the [future].”2 U.S. national interests include what has already been mentioned above, including the country’s well-being. Our military provides support for missions that reach those objectives. However, the U.S. is increasingly becoming dependent on China to underwrite its debt, which is a major problem—as well as the fact that the U.S. keeps spending beyond its means every second.
The 2008 National Defense Strategy tends to overlook various elements that are ingrained in our consciousness. The Department of Defense has supported at least three irregular wars in the recent past—one in Iraq, one in Afghanistan, and now one in Libya. Conventional conflicts like those going on in Syria and Somalia are largely being ignored because Syria and Somalia do not have anything that the U.S. wants. In Iraq, the U.S.’s heads of state wanted access to oil and a way to get back at Saddam Hussein for Operation Desert Storm which occurred in 1991.
Largely, conflicts like those that happen in Syria are not taken as seriously because the number of