December 11th, 2015.
As the threat of ISIS becomes more real to the United States, Pentagon officials have begun considering expanding U.S. military influence into southwest Asia, Africa, and the Middle East by building a series of military bases. This week, they presented their plan to Congress in direct response to the heightened tension terrorism is causing in the U.S.. However, according to the New York Times, Pentagon officials had been drafting this plan for a while with the intention of preparing for “future counter-terrorism” attacks. The atmosphere merely “lent new urgency to the discussions.”
In their plan, they intend to add multiple military bases in various regions that are suspected of being involved with ISIS or ISIL. The main controversy about their plan is, although it would enable the U.S. to gather better intelligence and be able to respond quicker in case of an attack, it would mean more men being sent to those regions to accomplish those feats.
Primarily, this is why analysts and critics are hesitant to embrace this new plan. By putting additional men on the ground, it is not war, but it certainly brings the United States one step close. It also fuels the fear that U.S. foreign policy is becoming increasingly militarized.
However, while the plan does consist of putting up to 5,000 military personnel in each designated base areas, it could also pertain to as few as 500 men per base. The outlines of the plan are still very indefinite and numbers are not yet concrete. Officials do not even know what the exact price of the project will be; when asked they responded “several million.”
What is important for people to realize is it’s not the details that are the most important aspect of this plan, but the concept behind it. The proposal of sending American men out into terrorist-infested areas is the first step to action, something that some believe has been lacking in the American response to ISIS.
If the plan is put into action, then, for those who know about it, the entire atmosphere of the U.S. will shift to something a bit more serious. This is the first step to introducing what it would be like to live in an America at war for many young Millennials who have not had experience with such things before. Essentially, if the plan is embraced, it will awaken Americans eyes as to what exactly is going on on the other side of the world. Whether it will make them want to fight for justice or preserve their old way of life is unpredictable. It will be at that point that Americans will be able to truly decide if this is a war they want to be a part of or not.