Below is an excerpt from George P. Shultz’s book, Learning from Experience, due this fall from Hoover Institution Press.
They will be more effective if they are mostly Arab boots. The challenge is to develop a force in the region that, in coordination with us, can be impactful. An unusual potential coalition is possible: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel, plus Iraqi Kurds and others with help from traditional European allies”
I asked my Cato-centric friend Jon Basil Utley, publisher of The American Conservative, for his analysis of the comments above regarding a joint Arab, American, traditional European ally force.
There is no such force and never will be! Fact is Saudi and UAE don’t trust their own people with weapons –Saudis even prefer to hire South American mercenaries to fight for them in Yemen. Saudi kings most fear their own army and instead depend upon a smaller National Guard with tribal loyalty to the king to keep their own people down.
Egypt’s army is infiltrated with Islamists and fully, fully occupied in escalating fighting with them inside Egypt. And the Kurds, they’re not fighting for America, rather their interest is in expanding territory for a new homeland.
Common Arab soldiers would just see a mission as joining the “imperialists” (Americans in Iraq and Syria) to attack another Muslim nation— Americans are seen as doing the dirty work for Arab dictators to keep them in power. “Traditional European allies” means France and England. Other Europeans opposed intervention and won’t send their troops to kill Arabs—they fear it would create more terrorists. Israel is of course the enemy of all of them—Schulz imagines that America will invite Israelis into Syria to occupy and kill Arabs?
Schulz thinking shows the willful ignorance of so many interventionists and neoconservatives. We constantly hear this reasoning to justify America’s endless wars in the Muslim world.
Purdue Presidential Lecture Series: George Shultz
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