America's War Game

If you're wondering why President Obama is so reluctant to confront the ISIS threat, which is growing by the minute all over the Middle East, then this editorial might give you some hints. There must be some solid reasons why it took the US less than six months to defend Oil fields in Kuwait after its invasion by Iraq in 1990, and why America is not even blinking today as ISIS is seizing Oil fields in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Actually, one can't help but question if this is the same America, which rushed into wars against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and later on in Iraq. The truth is, there are prerequisites for an American war, at least as far as modern history is concerned.

In March 1979, prosperous America, with a GDP growth rate above 5%, sealed the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty at the White House following 16 months of exhaustive negotiations. Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, was the mastermind of this first peace treaty between an Arab nation and Israel. In January 1981, Ronald Reagan, a Republican, took office and in the same year America fell into recession. A year later, Israel invaded Lebanon, and the latter called on the UN for an international peacekeeping force to restore peace in the country. America rushed in alongside France, England and Italy. In 1983, still under Reagan, the US invaded Granada to restore a revolutionary government there. By then America's GDP was already growing by more than 8%. Well, "War stimulates the economy", at least that's what they taught us in Economics books.

By the time Reagan handed power to George Bush (the father), another Republican, US GDP had slowed down to around 4%. A year later, America fell into recession once again; that was in July 1990. The very next month, Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait and by January 1991 America was all over the place. In the following months, the US GDP growth rate jumped out of negative territory to almost 5% by March 1992. Can you see the pattern already?

Bill Clinton, the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter, became the 42nd US President in January 1993, and he stayed in office for eight years. US GDP continued to grow under Clinton, hitting 7% by June 1996. Meanwhile, America masterminded the second peace treaty between an Arab country and Israel, as King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the documents at the Arabah Border Crossing.

In January 2001, George W. Bush (the son) was sworn in, and what happened two months later? By now, you should know the answer and even make some political predictions. In March 2001, America fell into recession, six months later it was 9/11, and the very next month the US launched its war on Afghanistan, followed by the war on Iraq. Now wait a minute, am I trying to say that America is fabricating wars to get itself out of every recession?! Not at all, I cannot make such a barbaric assumption without tangible proof; all I know is that the pattern exists at undeniable accuracy. Every time America falls into recession under a Republican president, it goes to war.

There was one exception though. That was in 2008, when the international financial crisis kicked in as George W. Bush had only one year left in office. Consequently, he had to make one of two choices; either drag America into a third consecutive war under his presidency, or hand his successor a ruined economy. Obviously, he opted for the latter. It's worth noting that in the past 100 years no American president ever launched war during his last year in office.

By the time Obama entered the White House in January 2009, the US economy was shrinking by more than 5% on a quarterly basis. And for the first time in modern history, America was getting itself out of recession by a Quantitative Easing monetary policy rather than wars! Indeed, by September 2014 US GDP growth hit 5% for the first time in almost a decade.

Now there is no doubt in my mind, that in November 2016 a Republican will win the US presidential election, that the US would have already fallen into recession, and that only then would the "War on Terror" rhetoric start making sense again across the Atlantic. But is it possible by any wisdom, that a country would allow its international interests to be targeted like this by ISIS just to protect its own economy? Well, who said that ISIS is hurting US interests in the first place? And who said that the next major war against ISIS would be led by America? America will just play a secondary role to rescue its economy as a new world power takes charge of ISIS and the whole Middle East, and this could even happen long before a new US president is sworn in. Mark my words!


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