Monday, October 14, 2019

The Kurds

Trump has come under intense criticism for withdrawing military support for the Kurds. Perhaps that's well-deserved. I haven't studied the issue, so I have no firm opinion one way or the other. But I'll venture a few generic observations:

1. The talk about "abandoning" a military ally is intellectually devious. It's not like the Kurds came to our rescue. The alliance was always enormously lopsided. They need us far more than we need them. They weren't doing us a favor. We were doing them a favor. They were doing themselves a favor by forming an alliance with us. But what do we actually owe them? 

2. Does the US military have a duty to maintain a military presence in the Mideast to prevent some Middle Easterners from slaughtering other Middle Easterners? No.

The job of the US military is to protect the lives of Americans. American soldiers have no duty to be killed or maimed to protect foreigners. Their lives aren't forfeit to save the lives of foreigners. Their lives aren't less valuable than the lives of foreigners. And their own families have a prior claim on them. 

3. I share the concern for the fate of Syrian Christians. But Christians throughout the Muslim world are at risk. Does that mean we should start a war with every Muslim country that persecutes Christians?  

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