The US stands at a historic crossroads, redeploying its combat troops out of Iraq and surging them in Afghanistan. But are they really leaving Iraq - or just rebranding the occupation? Why is Iraqi Lieutenant General Zibari requesting a decade-long US military presence? Meanwhile, in their other war, in Afghanistan, military escalation runs alongside political deterioration. Will Barack Obama's troop surge really offer any hope of winning in Afghanistan? Has the US realised that Western values cannot be forced through the barrel of a gun?
As the fiascos continue, surely Western governments should rethink war as a means of securing interests. And yet, war is being reinvented with the development of new deadly toys like the drone, allowing the privilege to fight freely and globally from the comfort of home base. Where will the US go next? The US' invasion and occupation of these two countries aimed to solidify its global leadership, and when it all started to go wrong, the election of Obama was meant to slow the US' decay and restore its credibility around the world. But two years into his presidency there have been no breakthroughs.As the US licks its wounds, counts its losses, intensifies its secret wars and contemplates its next moves in the Muslim world, has its superpower status been eroded? Empire searches for the answers.This episode of Empire can be seen from Wednesday, August 25, at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 1900; Thursday: 0300, 1400; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 1900; Sunday: 0300.
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