U.S. intervention in Syria: A risky and dangerous decision

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By Halsel@garnet.union.edu

The Syrian Civil War is a continuous conflict between forces of the Ba’ath party government and those who want it removed.

The Ba’ath party has been in power for over four decades, and protesters are now demanding for President Bashar al-Assad to resign. The protests escalated as the Syrian army was told to fire on protestors, prompting them to take up arms.

The ongoing conflict passed its two-year mark in March. As of this past February, the United Nations estimated the death toll to have surpassed 70,000 including at least 35,000 civilian casualties.

Syrian refugees have fled the country in great numbers to escape the violence.

The new evidence of chemical weapon use is President Barack Obama’s marker of when to intervene, but the consequences of intervention are extremely dangerous.

A United States’ direct intervention would be a poor decision for many reasons. Although the unmatched power of the United States’ ground military could be immensely beneficial for the Syrian rebels, it is crucial that we consider the cost of an unguaranteed outcome.

The United States’ past involvement in the Middle East, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, demonstrate the kinds of disastrous results a full-on intervention could have.

With the dust still settling from the debacle that became of the Iraq War, the United States should tread cautiously when considering providing direct aid to Syria.

If the President were to disregard this advice and put ground forces in Syria, many obstacles would stand in the way of ceasefire and a smooth governmental transition.

Most importantly, there is no guarantee that government overthrow and political reform would happen and how long it would take to accomplish.

If the Democratic Party is hoping to remain in the presidential position, a disaster in Syria would almost guarantee a Republican victory. Not to say this should be a political decision, but it is important to consider all outcomes.

The United States as well as other countries, including France and the United Kingdom, have been providing varying levels of military aid to opposition forces since 2012. As of this month, the United States is also providing military troops to the Jordan-Syria border to establish headquarters for non-military and military aid for Syrians.

Although, a direct military intervention in Syria has no secure results and should be avoided, however, the United States should continue to provide indirect support to the Syrian opposition.

 

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