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|Peace in the Middle East: A 50-Year Plan
by James Robison
The violent followers of Osama bin Laden, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah, the Taliban and several other brutal Islamist organizations wage a bloody war that will not stop until we stop them. Sectarian violence does not occur because our troops are in Iraq. It was happening before we ever arrived. They have been taught to hate each other and kill those with whom they disagree. Disengagement on our part will not lead to peace; it will lead to more violence. If we leave their lands before the enemy is defeated or under control, they will follow us home.
The strength of character that purchased freedom for our generation will be required to maintain it for future generations. Given the violent ideology that infects much of the Middle East, it is not a question of whether we will have to fight to preserve our freedom. The only questions are where, when, whom and how we fight. Our answers must be predicated upon a commitment to win, because when the cause is right, there is no substitute for victory.
We may achieve a level of stability in the next few years, but the reality of the situation is that we must remain there for decades. Consider the case of Germany, where we still operate numerous military bases over 60 years after the defeat of Nazism. Ramstein Air Base, home to 34,000 personnel and their families, is the largest facility. Operational costs top $1 billion annually. Dozens more bases exist across Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Greece, Japan, Korea and the Philippines.
The result is a stable Europe and Asia. Despite periodic policy disagreements, our relationships with these countries remain friendly. America does not colonize or occupy other nations and will not do so in the Middle East. But a prolonged presence will prove to serve the best interests of the United States, as well as the regions we aid.
Preventing more 9/11 attacks may require a stronger presence in these unstable regions. Facilities in Bahrain, Oman, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have helped gain a foothold into the turbulent Middle East region. Our troops fight to preserve freedom and they understand it is necessary to control those committed to violence, however long it takes. Major military establishments in Iraq and Afghanistan may be necessary to further advance peace and freedom for millions of people, both here in the United States and in the host countries. They can also provide a frontline for the security of our nation.
It is popular to press for the return of our troops. Of course, we all want the daily combat to cease so that the healing process can begin, much as it did in Germany and Japan after years of bloody war that cost millions of lives. Yet we must realize that peace in the Middle East can only come with long-term investments in the area. That means money and manpower. The cost of liberty has been high. The cost to protect and preserve it may be equally high.
While we debate the increase of U.S. troops to around 30,000, we would be wise to recognize the fact that at least 30,000 active service personnel may need to stay in the region for the next half-century. If that’s what it takes to have the kind of peace we’ve enjoyed here at home, and in the rest of the world, it will be a small price to pay.
Author: James Robison
Word Count: 646
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.
Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net