Does military intervention in the Middle East ever work?
Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi. Two ruthless dictators despised by the West and by their own people. One deposed in a controversial war led by the United States, the other by a ragtag collection of Libyan rebels with Western military assistance. Two countries that rejoiced at their liberation. Two countries that quickly descended into instability, despite the jubilation of their citizens and the wishful thinking of the US and its allies.
Iraq is now in a desperate struggle against ISIS, and Libya has been torn apart by rival factions that were united only by their hatred of Gaddafi. They're just two examples of the unintended consequences of the West's enthusiasm for forcible regime change in the Middle East and its environs.
Yemen, now, has become inflamed by a violent uprising, but Syria - a case in which the West actually declined to get involved militarily - remains perhaps the biggest mess of all: hundreds of thousands of citizens killed by their own government or by one or another rebel groups and now ISIS. And millions more forced to flee to Syria's neighbours as refugees. Canada is embarking on an expanded campaign against ISIS that will take us into the intractable civil conflict and humanitarian disaster that is Syria.
Michael speaks with Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom about what the West has typically gotten wrong in its military adventures in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, and what it could possibly do, to not make things worse.
Paul Rogers is the author of A War on Terror, Afghanistan and After. He's also the international security editor of the website openDemocracy.