With the ongoing larger US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and elsewhere, it can easily become the "new normal" that US troops are also fighting in (relatively) small numbers in places we just do not hear about, in wars the media does not question, in bloody conflicts that Congress does not bother to debate much less authorize. Once it was news when US troops were fighting overseas. But now the total US militarization of the rest of the world is so non-controversial that the average American doesn’t even seem fazed about it.
For example, most Americans either had not heard or had not stopped to scratch their heads upon hearing that US Special Forces in Somalia ordered airstrikes yesterday while operating alongside Ugandan forces who were battling Al-Shabaab militants. Why is the US backing up the Ugandans? Why are the Ugandans in Somalia in the first place? Is Al-Shabaab such a clear and present threat to the United States that the president was forced to send US troops there without notifying Congress? No one asks these questions (aside from us, of course). The US has been using drones to strike at Al-Shabaab, a small group with no international ambitions, for a number of years, but that too is seldom reported in the media. It’s just normal that US troops are on the ground in Somalia. After all, they are only "advisors" – until they call in airstrikes, that is.
In Libya, we also learned this week that US Special Forces have had their boots have been on the ground in that country since late 2015, preparing the field for a full US invasion (or should we say re-invasion) of that country. The 2011 US attack on Libya was supposed to overthrow an evil dictator and usher in a new democratic era for the Libyan people. Instead, it turns out US bombs only helped al-Qaeda gain a stranglehold on the country. The parts not controlled by bin Laden’s old gang were snapped up by ISIS. So the US "liberation" of Libya was such a disaster and the people who promised a bed of roses were so horribly wrong (as usual) that the US has been secretly planning another invasion for months.
Little wars. Unauthorized wars. Expensive wars. Deadly little wars. US foreign policy is a hammer and all it sees are nails.
Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.