Why America has both a moral and rational obligation to protect the nations of the world and attempt to maintain world order

On January 3, 2020, the president of the United States authorized a drone strike that targeted and killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani. Though this was acclaimed to be in response to an attack on a US Embassy in Baghdad, President Trump signed off on this attack seven months ago. 

The media are going crazy over this minute detail being controversial, and deciding that Trump is an irrational actor that is going to get us involved in World War III. Ultimately, this decision caused a lot of chaos and confusion in the days following the strike. 

In the following days Iran responded by launching tens of ballistic missiles at military bases in Iraq which held hundreds of U.S. forces. Thankfully, no one died in those attacks. 

After Trump’s response to that escalation was diplomatic sanctions, instead of a physical response, the tensions between the two nations seems to have simmered at least slightly. 

This event, however, has struck a chord with many Americans and raised an important question: what is America’s role on the national stage?

I find it particularly difficult to argue that America does not have both a moral and reasonable obligation to protect the nations of the world. 

This particular situation deserves to be discussed before entering the world stage, however. 

Qassim Soleimani has been called “the most powerful figure that is generally unknown outside Iran and the Middle East. He’s essentially Iran’s viceroy for Iraq,” Jim Phillips, Middle East analyst for conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, was quoted as saying in a 2015 interview with NBC News.  

It is very well known that this general had the blood of American citizens on his hands, and yet the New York Times obituaries described him as merely “Master of Iran’s Intrigue and Force.” This description felt somewhat praising of the general who has murdered American citizens and had plans to kill countless more. 

But why would an American newspaper care to make nice comments about an Iranian general?

The media have gone so far down their rabbit hole of hating both Donald Trump and America that any action either of those entities take must be the wrong one. Therefore, the murdering of a general? A bad thing so long as it means America meddled where they shouldn’t have. 

Here is the issue. Why would America not intervene?

It is pretty common knowledge that America has the most powerful military this world has ever seen. If we were going to go to war, there would be little question about who would win. That military, for most of American history, has not been used as force, however, and more as a deterrent.

That is our role in the world stage. With the most powerful military, we not only are able to, but have a responsibility to protect ourselves and our allies abroad. This is not unnecessary intervention, this is the prevention of thousands of Iraqi, Iranian, American, and Ukrainian deaths for no rational reason. 

While it is our job to protect our allying nations, it would be naive to assume that there are not also benefits to un intervening. Again, however, what is the harm in spreading some influence and knowledge about western life in nations that murder people based on their sexual identity?

At the end of the day, America must embrace its role as a world power and use it for good. People calling for us to remain entirely uninvolved is impossible. We have a direct interest in protecting nations such as Israel and preventing against other national control by nations such as Russia. 

To deny that our presence on the world stage is significant is to ignore the facts. So yes, maybe America extends its arm too far sometimes into the world of oil, but if we do not protect our own interests, who will?

Killing an Iranian general by all means was the only option for President Trump. Furthermore, his use of sanctions instead of brute force was the correct response to their attacks. 

America must remember the art of deterrence and embrace their role as a guiding figure in world politics. No, I do not believe America has all the right answers, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a duty to protect those freedoms here and abroad.