NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Purpose of Vacuums

September 29, 2015

A few years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned about power vacuums in the Middle East if the United States withdrew its military footprint from the region.

However, the Obama administration gave priority to campaign promises, rhetoric and rigid ideology and created a huge vacuum in the Middle East. In the past three years, the result of this vacuum has become very evident, says Allen B. West, president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

  • An enemy that was defeated has now reconstituted, has secured swaths of territory and driven out historic communities.
  • ISIS would not have been able to bring itself together if the U.S. had maintained the requested residual force in Iraq of 10,000-15,000 troops.
  • Iran would not have been able to become more of an influencer in Iraq if that residual force in Iraq had been maintained.
  • Perhaps, Syria would not have descended into the deplorable situation which is having immense repercussions all the way to Europe.

Furthermore, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) does not clean up any mess; to the contrary, it exacerbates the problem. When American forces were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. had an ideal position to keep watch on Iran, the number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism.

But lately, America is about to become Iran's largest financial supporter as it releases hundreds of billions of dollars to the militant regime.

So, when a geopolitical vacuum is created, someone will try to fill that void and in this case it's Putin who has been sending Russian forces and military equipment to Syria. The lack of American action could result in Vladimir Putin being the key influencer in this region.

Source: Allen West, "The Purpose of Vacuums," Townhall, September 23, 2015.

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