The Iraq War is over except for the packing, President Obama announced on Friday. He held out hope that the US would be at peace for the first time since 2001 in the coming years. The Libya war is ending, and US troops will steadily come out of Afghanistan through 2014.
Alas, the peace will be illusory. It is not clear that we have learned the lessons of the Iraq fiasco, including, as I told Dan Froomkin, how to avoid being stampeded to war by unscrupulous politicians.
The US is entering an age of perpetual drone wars. The US is hitting targets in Yemen and the tribal belt in Pakistan. When will the drone wars be over?
The huge, bloated military budget, higher than in the Cold War, keeps us forever on a war footing.
The US is also arming Israel to the teeth and stoking an arms race in the Middle East, even as Washington seeks de facto to deny Palestinians their right to a state and to the basic human rights that only a state can back. That is, the US is deeply involved in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a partisan. 9/11 was in part a skirmish in that war.
US sanctions on Iran are becoming so severe as to constitute a blockade, which in international law an act of war. The war party in the US is salivating for that war with Tehran, which is halfway begun as we speak, and it is freely acknowledged as a goal by most Republican presidential candidates.
If Obama really wants a US at peace, he has much more work to do– as do we all.