In the name of containing radical Islam or curbing Islamist terrorists, the U.S.A is engaged in activities, proving counterproductive. During the Cold War, the United States was willing to align itself with any political group that was ideologically opposed to communism; in addition to assisting legitimate freedom fighters, it befriended despots, death squads, and drug lords. As long as these despots, death squads, and drug lords hated commies, they were OK. Fifteen years after the end of the Cold War, the U.S. foreign policy hasn’t really changed. Communists have just been replaced by Islamic extremists. Any political group, no matter how shady, that wants to fight Muslim fundamentalism gets our support. But while these Islamic militant groups are indeed dangerous, the policy for containing and defeating them is nonetheless flawed. The enemies’ enemies should not necessarily be the friends; and sometimes enemies’ enemies are just as violent and corrupt as enemies are. Elaborating this point, Josh Tinley writes in the Wesley Daily. A year ago this month, security forces in Uzbekistan killed hundreds of protesters in the town of Andijan. Human rights groups and journalists reported that the crowd was overwhelmingly unarmed and had come out to protest corruption and poor economic conditions. . . . The regime of Islam Karimov sought to justify the carnage by saying that the demonstration was organized by Islamic militants seeking to overthrow the government. Karimov’s apologetics are supported by S. Frederick Starr, once an advisor on Soviet affairs to Presidents Reagan and Bush (the first one) and now a professor at Johns Hopkins’ Central Asia Caucasus Institute (CACI). CACI works closely with the current administration, for whom the institute helps justify relationships with despotic regimes in Central Asia. Meanwhile, a top U.S. official handling Somalia has been transferred from his job after criticising payments to warlords that are said to be fuelling some of Mogadishu’s worst-ever fighting. In this case the U.S. is supporting war lords simply because they oppose radical Islam. Unfortunately, backing these war lords has not been fruitful. At least 320 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the anarchic city since February in battles between the warlords, who dubbed themselves the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism, and Islamist militias. Various other diplomats involved with Somalia, including those from Washington’s allies, have expressed frustration at U.S. aid to warlords which they say has undermined Somalia’s weak interim government, seen as the best hope for peace there. . . . Analysts say Washington’s widely believed links with the warlords have had the contrary effect of rallying Islamist groups and increasing support for them among Somalis, who are not usually strong supporters of radical Islam. The world today is too complicated for nations and political groups to form alliances based solely on common enemies. A regime or militia may be eager to help us fight our never-ending war, but that same regime or militia could, in the future, become our primary enemy. (Consider, for example, Saddam Hussein or the Taliban.) A black-and-white globe (or one of those Cold-War-era red-and-blue maps) cannot be the basis of the U.S. foreign policy. “With us or against us” is just not a viable political philosophy in the complex world. The need of the hour is to see the world in full colour and in four dimensions; to introduce more variables into the U.S. foreign policy equations. Otherwise, the U.S. will inevitably end up supporting those who fiercely oppose the values it claim to cherish.