Intruding ourselves into another nation’s internal affairs is rarely justified and often dangerous. That is especially true when that country is involved in a civil war that is fast becoming a bloody internecine struggle where it is difficult to distinguish friend from foe.
Our justification for poking our noses into such a situation is often based on the stated need to protect American nationals and American interests in that country.
In the 1920s the United States sent a gunboat up the Yangtze River to protect Americans trapped in a conflict between Chinese warlords. The noted humorist Will Rogers asked his radio listeners to consider how we might have felt if, during the American Civil War, the Chinese had sent a warship up the Mississippi River to protect a Chinese laundry in Memphis?
Will Rogers had a point. Think about it.
I believe that we should involve ourselves in another country’s affairs only when it is clearly a matter of national self-interest. For example, we were right to go after Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan when they attacked us and the Afghan government continued to afford them shelter. I can think of few other recent occasions when such incursions have been justified.