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The Real Story of Afghanistan

by John Brian Shannon | December 4, 2002

How our allies ‘the Mujahadeen’ were so incompetently managed that they eventually became Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other groups bent on wreaking havoc on western civilization.

It’s so easy to defer blame, to assume we are not at fault. There must be some reason our former partners against the Soviets turned against us — to such a degree they now seek the destruction of western society. It’s time to admit that our sudden desertion of the Afghan people at the close of the Soviet/Afghanistan War makes us culpable. In so doing, we helped to bring terrorism on ourselves.

The Afghanistan War was a real war, a fact which is lost on some westerners. In the proxy war that was the Afghan conflict from 1979 to 1989, thousands of Afghani ‘freedom fighters’ or ‘Mujahadeen’ bravely fought the behemoth Soviet Army during extreme weather conditions in a brutal guerrilla war, with little more than blood, sweat, and profound determination.

Yes, Americans, Pakistanis and others contributed food, third-rate rifles and other weapons to the Afghans who were forced to fight an invading Soviet Army, but who really wanted nothing more than to be left alone to live in peace with their families. Yet many of those same families and their homes would suddenly cease to exist after a strike from a Soviet helicopter. So fight they did.

The moment the former Soviet Union announced it was pulling out of Afghanistan, allies of the Mujahadeen, (the U.S., Pakistan, the U.K. and others) abruptly dropped all funding including; food aid/medicine/supplies — leaving the country and its people in a truly desperate situation. The Mujahadeen valiantly and fiercely ejected the Soviet Army from Afghanistan and after using them for our purposes, we just up and left them to a country ravaged by years of war with tons of unexploded ordinance scattered about and unmarked minefields to get maimed in and (we now know that up to) 500,000 people starved to death initially, and we just let it happen.

Almost as many Afghans died from hunger, disease and dislocation after abandonment, as from bullets or missiles fired by the Soviet’s in ten years of war.

‘Your reward for humiliating our sworn enemy is a destroyed country, shattered economy, non-existent infrastructure and a decimated society.’

Could this be why such groups as the Taliban and Al Qaeda formed in Afghanistan? As sure as night follows day, anyone could have seen this coming. It took 12 years, but Osama bin Laden delivered the bill for this appalling treatment of an ally.

Put yourself and your own family in their shoes, if you can. What, a little revenge, maybe? A little rubbing their nose in it? What would you do if your allies suddenly abandoned your families to starvation and disease after you had fought bravely for ten hard years?

A lot of politicians who should have known better, were asleep at the switch on this one.

What should have been done

Imagine if the Mujahadeen had been treated differently by the U.S. at the war’s end. For example;

  • Each Mujahadeen (fortunate to still be alive after ten years or war) paid $10,000. U.S. dollars, as a (token) thank-you for playing their part in repeatedly embarrassing, humiliating and then defeating the Soviet Army (archenemy of the U.S.) over a gruelling ten-year period. This is the same Soviet Army which then had nuclear missiles aimed at every city in North America and Europe.
  • War hero Mujahadeen given a free round-trip and official tour of the Statue of Liberty, the White House, shopping malls, middle class suburbs and U.S. military parade, complete with marching band and fighter jets swooping overhead – dipping their wings in a ‘thank-you’ salute. What an opportunity to showcase all that America, democracy, and the free enterprise system had to offer! Mujahadeen returning home from such a tour would have been the best ambassadors in America’s history. You couldn’t have bought better P.R. in the Islamic world, if you were throwing GOLD BARS into their streets! Instead of the deafening chants of “DEATH TO AMERICA!” to which we have become accustomed since that time, imagine shouts of “WE LOVE AMERICA!” resounding throughout the Muslim world. Democracy in the Middle East would have started in… Afghanistan, of all places! Two-thirds of the Middle East we know today could have been democratic by now – from a single act of visionary thinking.
  • Training from the Americans on how to detect and safely remove land mines. For each land mine ‘turned in’ to a local depot set up for that purpose, say $20.00 U.S. This hypothetical program — even though costing a certain amount of money – would have employed a number of Afghan people and would have cost less than the U.S. Army specialists doing the same job there now.
  • Helping the Afghan economy in other ways, such as placing small Ford or Sony assembly plants in both Kandahar and Kabul. It wouldn’t have taken much. Just enough to allow people enough to work and live, instead of being forced to beg for the charity which never came. Wages there were among the lowest in the world, American and European corporations would have benefited just as much as the Afghan people. The leaders of the western world would have laid the groundwork for a very different and better path than the one we are now on.
  • Leadership, direction and surplus arms to the Mujahadeen and instruction on how to transform their force into a small but efficient, combined army/police force to defend the country. Yes, these things would have cost some money, but not the price we are currently paying! Now we are back, trying to undo the original bad management and it has cost us 1000 times more in lives, dollars and heartbreak than if we had acted honourably back then.

For a relatively small investment and some political will, think of what we COULD HAVE HAD:

a. Political goodwill in a part of the world where the U.S. and the west generally lacks it.
b. A serious start to democracy in the Middle East, which some 13 years later, would have spread beyond the boundaries of Afghanistan if properly managed and overseen.
c. A stable Afghanistan where terrorist groups couldn’t have gained a foothold to launch attacks.
d. A real nation-state and valued member of the international community — not a failed state.

Think of what we WOULD HAVE MISSED:

  1. Terrorism
  2. The ‘War on Terror’
  3. The financial and human costs associated with terror
An appalling lack of vision, a dearth of leadership, callousness, short-sightedness, and abandoned responsibilities — illustrates what has motivated terrorists and shows why we are back in Afghanistan and why we are back in Iraq.

Publishing history:
Originally published in the Christian Science Monitor — December, 2002 (later pulled from publication)
Also published in Le Monde Diplomatique — January, 2003 (published as an article, then pulled and republished as a comment, then the comment was pulled from publication)
Also published at the Middle East Times (Claude Salhani – editor) but the MET was bought by the New York Times and closed down, and subsequently became The New York Times Middle East Edition
This is an updated version of that original article.

ISIS: Building a Better Middle East Model by Defeating ISIS Together

by John Brian Shannon | September 23, 2014

The truism, “The only constant in the universe is change” is one that nobody can deny. Even the stars change, eventually burning out after shining brightly for 10-50 billion years, depending on the size and composition of the star at its formation.

The same is true with politics. Civilization is constantly changing, individual societies within our civilization evolve — and to hopelessly complicate matters — all of the societies are evolving at different speeds and began from different starting points.

No doubt that all nations are on a path of enlightenment, it’s just that none of them occupy the same position on the path. Some are ‘behind’ us and some are ‘ahead’ of us, to put it in undiplomatic terms.

No matter. We do our best, and sometimes history has been kind to us and sometimes not, thereby making each country what it is today. Each nation is the sum total of its history.

There are no ‘perfect politics’ there are no ‘perfect political systems’ and there are no ‘perfect politicians’ — nor is perfection often found anywhere in the universe. Even so-called ‘perfect diamonds’ have microflaws in them.

The fact that we try to improve, is everything. Where we are today or tomorrow is much less important.

Striving to be better, means that eventually we will be better. And there is that learning curve which makes progress exponential once a certain point is reached.

We Celebrate Political Successes, But We Are Necessarily More Concerned With Political Failures

When faced with political failure at the international level, the result is often war. At best, nations will ‘agree to disagree’ for a time, until enlightened political thought (diplomacy) takes hold and solves the situation, thereby making that problem obsolete.

Within countries, political failure can ultimately lead to civil war. However, things can and usually do go on for some time in a state of fog or brimming discontent before it erupts into civil strife.

The one thing to take away from this, is that unless things are ‘getting better’ — they’re getting worse.

It’s a poor Captain who doesn’t alter course when the boat is being pushed backwards by the sea or the weather. One makes the necessary adjustments and the journey continues. There is no other choice.

“All War Represents the Failure of Diplomacy” — Tony Benn

When we have war it’s because we disagree with other political actors in other countries. This holds true for the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and so on.

When there is a lack of tolerance and insufficient diplomacy, then begins war.

It’s important to remember that all of this isn’t fated to happen. At any point in time, one side or the other is fully capable of changing their position and ending (or preventing) the conflict. A simple phone call can convey a change of heart and many lives can be spared death or the endless misery of lost family and friends.

Politics is Never Static

In the Middle East example, things which were once thought immovable are shifting.

Iran, yes that Iran, is talking to the UK about participating in the effort against ISIS. Arab nations are teaming up with the Europeans and the North Americans to fight ISIS in Iraq.

It’s important to note that while Iraq has invited Western nations inside its borders to assist the fight against ISIS, Syria has (so far) not invited any nation to fight ISIS inside Syria.

It’s a trust issue. Otherwise, Syria would gladly welcome any assistance in the fight against its supreme arch-rival ISIS. To underscore this point, the first IS in the acronym ISIS stands for Islamic State, while the second IS stands for Inside Al-Shams (Al-Shams is Arabic for the word ‘the Syria’) making Syria the prime target of ISIS, as they seek to establish an Islamic State in Syria by deposing the government of Syria.

Would the government of Syria like our help? You bet they would! Their very lives and future are at stake.

So why aren’t we invited inside Syria to fight ISIS? 

In simple terms, it’s a failure of diplomacy. We’ve failed to convince Syria of our good intentions towards Syria and towards the millions of innocent Syrian people (many of whom are now running for the Turkish border at full speed) to escape the ISIS thugs.

The Enemy of My Enemy, is My Friend

Iran sees this truism and looks willing to participate in fighting ISIS to a standstill, if not complete defeat.

Why not to the point of complete defeat? Because without full Syrian involvement, there will be no victory over ISIS, only a never-ending beating them back into Syrian territory.

ISIS controlled areas in Iraq and Syria, September 22, 2014

ISIS controlled areas in Iraq and Syria, September 22, 2014

Iran is giving some good advice to Washington, and that advice goes like this; As ISIS is primarily based inside Syria, the ISIS entity will never be defeated unless a coalition can be invited into Syria for the sole purpose of routing ISIS — and just so that everyone is clear on this, Iran doesn’t mean allowing the coalition to take liberties with the situation and engaging in regime change while we’re in Syria.

The Iranians are experts in the region and they want the end of ISIS as much as anyone — and they feel that to win will require the support of the Bashar Al-Assad government.

It’s too late to begin ‘reinventing the wheel’ by starting with a brand new government in Syria. Iran says we should work with what we’ve got: the Bashar Al-Assad government. We’ll have plenty of time to bicker about other things with Bashar Al-Assad — after ISIS is routed.

Which, even with the support of Iran, the Arab nations, the West, and good luck, all working together in perfect harmony should take about 10 years. Maybe 15.

Pathways to Progress against ISIS

It’s great to have purist debates about how to wage war. However, when the diplomats have failed the war must actually be fought.

Like so many things in life, you work with what you’ve got. Purist debates must sometimes wait.

Right now, in the battle against ISIS, we’ve got Iraq, the United States, Europe, the Arab States, the UK, Canada and Australia as major contributors. There are other nations that want to contribute and we thank them for their contribution as well.

Iran is suddenly looking like it might join the coalition. Let’s hope that happens and soon, as Iran, more than any other country in the region is poised to play a major role and is perfectly placed to do so much good in this fight.

However, Syria has not felt comfortable enough to willingly allow coalition warplanes to overfly their territory, nor to have any country’s troops on their soil.

And, at this point, who could blame them? Even their regional allies didn’t help them in their hour of need, which eventually led to the partial collapse of their nation.

So we work with what we’ve got, which is much, but even all of that together is not the optimum combination to solve this growing and morphing problem.

The present Syria policy vs. what could be

Only because the West couldn’t win the trust and acceptance of Syria (an example of failed diplomacy) we’ve been pursuing a secondary policy inside Syria, until such times as we can gain the approval of the Bashar Al-Assad government to enter the air and land space of the country, in order to help rout ISIS from Syria, which would nicely complement our effort to rid neighbouring countries of ISIS.

This “Plan B” is a good one, as far as Plan B’s go — strengthening militia groups and individuals (warlords) inside Syria that are already engaged in the fight against ISIS.

But it goes without saying that a “Plan A” would be the better choice. Of course, as I referred to above Plan A would necessarily include Iran and Syrian participation — without losing any of the existing coalition members.

That is the difference between what is (Plan B), and what could be (Plan A). Only the failure of the diplomats has prevented us from activating Plan A. For now we’re stuck with Plan B.

Not that we should blame the diplomats for this failure. Diplomacy takes time and it may yet yield worthwhile results.

Iran joining the coalition might help to co-opt Syria toward coalition membership, in fact the Iranian diplomats might just be the ones to clinch that deal for all of us, and for themselves too as they too have an extreme dislike of the ISIS entity.

Benjamin Netanyahu today criticized the Plan B approach in a CBC television interview

Which is fine. We’re all entitled to our opinions.

And few nations (besides Syria, which is by far the main target of ISIS) have as much to lose as Israel, so I don’t blame the Prime Minster of Israel for criticizing the Plan B approach of strengthening the Syrian enemies of ISIS. (Excellent and wide-ranging interview with Benjamin Netanyahu begins at the 3:10 mark — continues to the 17:00 mark)

Apparently, he feels that all groups in the Middle East should be weakened equally — so that all are equally weak in comparison to Israel — and that the policy of strengthening regional forces presently engaged in fighting ISIS inside Syria (and presumably in Iraq too) is a bad policy.

I well understand the Israeli viewpoint that any group with guns and ammunition in the Middle East represents a threat to Israel. In Netanyahu’s view, those same fighters, once ISIS is defeated, could (in Netanyahu’s mind) conceivably turn to fight Israel.

And, in the absence of vision and leadership for the region and by the region, that’s a possibility. But with proper diplomacy and an inclusive vision for the region that all Middle East nations can feel comfortable with, no MENA nation need ever fear any other MENA nation or group.

The PM of Israel is looking at the situation through the prism of what has been, while I look at what could be

Were politics a static environment, PM Benjamin Netanyahu would win this point easily.

But politics is anything but a static environment, it is fluid and dynamic and as time moves forward we can begin to tailor regional politics to the needs of the countries in the region. And that means Israel too.

If one person in a house is unhappy, all will be unhappy. If one country in a region is unhappy, all will be unhappy. Tell me I’m wrong on this. But I know that you can’t. All of us know this truth and especially in a small region like the Middle East it applies equally to all of the nations.

Forming a coalition against a common enemy (in this case ISIS) where all of the members of the region become members of that greater coalition to fight their common enemy and eventually winning, is the best medicine for the failed diplomacy of the 20th century. Which is what started the whole Middle East problem in the first place.

The thinking of the early 20th century created the map we see today in the Middle East and all that has come since, both good and bad. Using 21st century thinking to make obsolete the problems inherited from a previous century, should be the visionary and leadership goal for the region.

To improve the existing paradigm we will need the cooperation and diligent efforts of all of the players in the region. There can be no leaving-out of Syria, nor of Iran. Whatever the new vision is, it must include the 23 million Syrians and the 38 million Iranians, or it simply won’t work, nor would it deserve to.

If Iran and Syria aren’t included in this herculean task of routing ISIS from the region and contributing to the future Middle East vision, eventually ISIS would win on account of their brutal tactics and their expertise at national destabilization wherever they operate.

For the Middle East, the rise of ISIS affords the best opportunity in decades to rise to meet the challenges of our time instead of shrinking back, and to work together to forge a new and better reality for all of the citizens of the Middle East.

Inclusiveness, tolerance, respect, and a common vision must be the way forward for the entire region.

Leaving Syria, Iran, Israel, or any other regional country out of that common and good future — and you are simply using the same old recipe — but attempting to bake a different cake.

The Dangers of GroupThink and Legal Precedent in International Law

The Dangers of GroupThink and Legal Precedent in International Law | 22/09/14
by John Brian Shannon John Brian Shannon

Photographer: Hasan Jamali/AP Photo F/A-18 fighter jets take off for mission in Iraq from the flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush

FILE – In this Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 file photo, F/A-18 fighter jets take off for mission in Iraq from the flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, in the Persian Gulf. U.S. military officials said American fighter aircraft struck and destroyed several vehicles a day earlier that were part of an Islamic State group convoy moving to attack Kurdish forces defending the northeastern Iraqi city of Irbil. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a U.S. Senate hearing on Sept. 17 that in helping to defend Iraq, “you have a right of hot pursuit, you have a right to be able to attack those people who are attacking you as a matter of self-defense.”Bloomberg

Which is great if it were true. But it’s not

ISIS, as odious as they are, aren’t attacking the U.S.A., nor have they staged any attacks inside America. Ergo, they’re not attacking us.

Consequently, we have no right to;

  1. Attack them (other than as requested by the Iraqi government)
  2. We do not have the right of ‘hot pursuit’
  3. And when they’ve yet to attack us, it’s hardly self-defense.

Although judging by the yelping about “the threat ISIS poses to America” you’d think that the whole eastern seaboard had been blown into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Yes, two Western journalists were beheaded. But they knew the rules better than anyone, they knew they were risking their lives for the story or their agency. They knew beforehand, nobody had to tell them. It’s the way it is with journalists all over the world.

Guess how many journalists have been killed covering stories since 1992? You may think only 5 or 10 — but you’d be wrong. It’s a very dangerous job to go walking around in a war zone.

That’s why 1,072 journalists have died on the job since 1992 and 39 are still missing

It’s a dangerous job, get it? And for what, a story? Not good enough. Really, what is worth losing your life over?

Two Western journalists beheaded, as horrible as that is, does not constitute grounds for war. It doesn’t pave the way “to be able to attack those people who are attacking you as a matter of self-defense.”

Two people, who knew the risks better than anyone took a risk that they decided that was a calculated risk, and they got caught in a war zone and paid the ultimate price. End of story.

Nothing we do now will bring them back

Conversely, what we do now may get many more journalists and civilians killed, especially the path that we suddenly find ourselves on — by going uninvited into Syria to bomb people — some of whom will be innocent people who get killed by Western bombs.

Is international Hot Pursuit legal?

While ‘hot pursuit’ is legal in maritime incidents under certain circumstances — there are no laws on the books permitting it across international boundaries on land. Now, that’s not to say that it hasn’t happened, because in a small number of developing countries it has happened. But that doesn’t make it legal.

And what’s more, we should take great care if we’re setting legal precedent via our actions.

One such action which is adding credence to (in slow motion) the setting of a legal precedent, is the principle of Preemptive War whereby we, based on scant evidence (and later found to be false evidence) peremptorily attacked Iraq to;

  1. Rid that country of WMD weapons that were targeting America (there were none)
  2. Capture the hundreds of terrorists that were in the country just waiting to attack America (there were none)
  3. Capture Saddam Hussein and put him on trial for the 9/11 attacks (which he had nothing to do with)

All the reasons for going to preemptive war in Iraq ultimately proved to be false — the U.S. Iraq Study Group said so — and its Chairman, Mr. Leon Panetta served the U.S. in many high-level capacities — including Director of CIA and Secretary of Defense. So you can take the U.S. Iraq Study Group findings to heart.

That about covers my opinion about Preemptive War.

The ‘Hot Pursuit’ of suspected criminals plying international waters is legal due to the UN Law of the Sea Treaty which all nations observe

It’s one thing for the Coast Guard or Navy ships to chase a ship engaged in illegal activity (either summary or felony offenses) in our waters — where during the course of the chase it leaves our waters and enters the waters of a second country. That is a widely recognized application of existing international law.

For example: In Washington State waters, under the existing Law of the Sea treaty (which all countries observe) if a suspect ship escapes into Canadian waters, the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Navy may decide to continue the chase into Canadian waters to capture the suspect ship and its crew.

During such incidents, Canadian Navy or Canadian Coast Guard ships offer their assistance to the U.S. Navy or U.S. Coast Guard ships in Hot Pursuit — and the reverse is true when the Canadians are chasing scofflaws into U.S. waters. It’s a common thing.

And those are fine examples of the application of Hot Pursuit. And of international cooperation by the way. I’d like to see more of that sort of thing.

However, The Law of the Sea Treaty only covers the maritime environment and nowhere does it allow Hot Pursuit across land

My opinion about Hot Pursuit while crossing international land boundaries is that it’s illegal and in no way should we be attempting to set legal precedent — in a third country of all things.

It’s one thing if, in our own country we have a solid case whereby a known criminal has escaped and a police officer is pursuing that individual and the officers pursue the suspect across the border, *where one of the countries is our own country, and the other country is a neighbour country.*

That case can be made.

U.S. police chasing a criminal suspect into Canadian territory — everyone can wrap their heads around that. Canadian police chasing a suspect car into the U.S., is understandable. And that precedent has occurred and nobody minded. The official decision on the matter can be summed up in the following statement; “No harm, no foul.”

The same could eventually hold true with air chases. If a light plane was flying from U.S. airspace towards Canada with intent to crash the airplane into an office tower in Canada, it would be quite acceptable for the USAF to pursue that plane and force it down — even after the plane had managed to cross into Canadian airspace.

The United States should expect the same courtesy from the Royal Canadian Air Force were a light plane flying from Canadian airspace into the United States — whose pilot intended to crash into an American building or infrastructure.

But it’s a very different thing to *fly from one country where we’ve been granted permission to fly military missions, into another country where we haven’t been granted permission to fly military missions.*

Neither of those countries are our country. And that makes it a crime.

Not only that, we’ve hit just as many innocent people as criminals over the past 10 years in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and other nations.

It sets a terrible precedent. It besmirches the reputation of the U.S. and participating coalition member nations. And the whole situation works to prevent some very good precedents from getting a fair hearing. Perception is almost everything and if the public believes that preemptive war is unwise and that Hot Pursuit over land (in third countries) is unwise, then any good case for it is thereby greatly diminished.

There are good cases for ‘Hot Pursuit’ but Syria isn’t one of them

While France has joined the U.S. in airstrikes in Iraq, President Francois Hollande ruled out attacking in Syria.

“We’re very concerned with the aspects of international law,” Hollande said last week at a press conference. “We’ve been called in by the Iraqis; we’re not called in on Syria.” — Bloomberg.com

Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that somehow the Law of the Sea Treaty, or that the high level of security cooperation between Canada and the U.S., or that because it has rarely occurred in developing nations — allows the U.S. to drop bombs on poorly identified people in Syria (a country which we do not have permission to enter) is just not acceptable.

We wouldn’t allow India, Argentina, or Poland (although we ‘like’ all three countries) to engage in Hot Pursuit over United States airspace to shoot down a suspect aircraft, or to bomb suspected ISIS members inside the United States.

So, if we wouldn’t let them do that to us, why would we think we could do that to them, or any other country?

Including Syria.

Other than Canada operating along its border with the U.S. and contributing to overall North American security, what country would you allow to pursue airborne criminals into the United States to shoot them down inside the United States? Would you allow Mexico? How about Brazil, or Venezuela?

Which is why we must be very careful of the precedents that we are setting out there.

Once legal precedent is set in law, then we too will be bound by them — whether we like it nor not

Do you really want China or Angola or Bangladesh in legal Hot Pursuit into American airspace to shoot down one of their suspected terrorist criminals? (Nothing against China, Angola, or Bangladesh) it’s just that once the precedent is set in law — it is set and is thenceforth legal and acceptable behavior for all countries — even faraway ones!

But the growing use of this principle raises touchy issues concerning territorial sovereignty and may open a dangerous legal can of worms.

Some legal scholars say it is a bastardization of an old law of the sea, which allows ships on the high seas to pursue and overtake other ships if a crime is committed on the former ship’s sovereign waters.

They remain unconvinced that the principle carries any legitimacy on land.

Any armed incursion that violates another state’s territorial borders and is not in self-defense or sanctioned by the UN Security Council constitutes an act of war, clear and simple. As an extension of this, some argue that rather than limiting the size of conflicts, “hot pursuit” may be misinterpreted by governments as a provocation that could spark wider wars or lend greater legitimacy to nations that launch preemptive strikes under the legal mantle of “anticipatory self-defense.”

Another concern is that the doctrine, if implemented on a more formal or wider scale, might fully supplant other legal channels, such as the extradition process. — Lionel Beehner

In our rush to punish ISIS and prevent it from making territorial gains inside Iraq, we should not be setting legal precedents which we might deeply regret later

If we do it enough times, then other countries will feel they can do it too. And the next thing you know it’s the new norm.

At that point, any country could then fly into any other country to bomb suspected ISIS, Al Qaida, or other terrorists.

Until international law changes, it is illegal to enter the air or land space of any country without permission — although it is legal to engage in Hot Pursuit on the ocean, where a ship is exiting our waters in an attempt to avoid capture by law enforcement or evading Navy or Coast Guard maritime inspection.

Let’s not set up a legal precedent that will allow any country to use our presently flawed interpretation of Hot Pursuit to enter our air or land space without our permission.

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