Numerous violations of civil rights and annihilations of human lives are now akin to normal in the middle-east. While a distinctively painless and luxurious life is advertised when talking about the Middle-east, it is only when one dwells deeper in the turmoil raging in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, it gets introduced to the sorry state of affairs and traditional travesty.
It is very difficult to certainly pin-point the inception of the ongoing wars as such is the distorted history of the time. However, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in the 1990, can be marked as the first proper beginning of America’s endless wars. Instances before 1990, were mostly small mutinies and border disturbances. It was only when the then President of the United States of America George H.W. Bush decided to respond forcefully, fiercely against Iraq’s aggression. While Bush avoided an open-ended war with Iraq, Kuwait’s restoration and a creation of no-fly zone in Northern Iraq had unanticipated consequences. The no-fly zone in Northern Iraq extended to the Southern part to keep the Iraqi military at bay from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The excitement and overconfidence of victory took America again to Iraq in 2003, under the leadership of President Bush, ignoring critical warnings from Brent Scowcroft, America’s National Security Advisor, that waging war at the said juncture would only deeply puncture and divert critical resources from the fight against terrorism. The contest of attaining supremacy over Iraq, also led America to dismiss the intelligence report that claimed Iraq to be absolved of active participation in the 9/11 war. The undue, unsolicited and unwarranted invasion of America in Iraq in 2003 has been referred to as the worst decision in American foreign policy ever.
Leaders following Bush tried to rectify the state of war. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden did try to withdraw American troops from Iraq but the surgency of ISIS drained them back in. President Trump, also tried to put a stop to the war but ended up deploying more troops than ever, including deployment in Saudi Arabia. It is therefore conclusive to attest that getting into foreign matters without due diligence has cost America manifold.
Countries bordering and neighboring the Middle-East, especially Afghanistan, have also faced heat and wrath of the ongoing endless war. The concentration of military and armed forces across Latin America, East Asia and even sub-Saharan Africa since World War-II till date has intensified the wars and inter-territorial conflict exponentially, tracing the basic inception to the Middle-East.
While Asia and Africa have been the epicenter of largest conflicts, the Middle East has seen a much more relative increase in the past few years. Over the past decade, the bulk of the world’s deadliest human travesties and civil rights violations have been witnessed in the Middle-East. Syria among the aforementioned states, has been reduced to a battleground and is a sorry example of the deadliest conflicted state since 1989. During the 2018-19 pre-covid timeline, almost twenty million people have been displaced and thirty-five million people are in desperate and dire need of humanitarian aid.
The handicapped nature of International Law and inefficiency of the 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy has further resulted in violence and chaos. In the year 2019 itself, the Middle East saw ten interstate-based conflicts. To top it all, the horrors of Covid-19 in the stream has further brought nations on its knees. With limited access to medical aid in refugee camps and disputed territories has further escalated the number of casualties.
Oppressed by both natural and man-made calamities, states like North-East Syria, where more than 3 million people are living in refugee camps during covid, have made it almost impossible for the general population to come out on top. Yemen, another horrified example of the war, has also witnessed a significant deterioration of human lives due to a prolonged civil war fueled by Iran and terrorist organizations, further worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of the war, the country’s health care system has been shattered and therefore is woefully inadequate to face the pandemic. Libya also shares a similar fate in terms of healthcare system. The ongoing conflict in the state has crippled medical infrastructure rendering an extreme number of lives lost. Though a ceasefire has furthered U.N. to form a new transitional government to protect and preserve public interests, the situation still remains volatile.
Though the intentions of the US appear to be clean at heart in stabilizing the conditions across the Middle-East, efforts in furnishing globalization seem to be equally important. It is imperative to concretize globalization in order to enable the population to access medical and humanitarian aid, return to their homes, contribute to economic development and rebuild their lives.
Written by Hamza Jamal is presently reading law and writes for The Wonk on polity and world affairs.