My next four posts are meant to foster discussion about the Syrian crisis. I will give my position in the last post.
The Syrian crisis continues with an increasing civilian body count. Bashar al-Assad has even resorted to using chlorine gas to advance his political agenda. What should we do besides digging more graves for more bodies? Here are some options:
I. Create a no-fly zone: A potential drawback of this measure is it would be a logistical nightmare because tens of thousands of personnel, fighters, tankers, and AWACS aircraft will be needed. Secondly, according to General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, this measure would essentially amount to going to war with Syria and Russia because Russia currently controls Syrian air space. We might shoot down a Russian aircraft and thereby trigger a war. Conflict with Russia is made all the more imminent since Russia has warned that an attack, even on the Syrian government forces, is an attack on Russia.
II. Create a safe zone for Syrian refugees: This is a viable option because Turkish troops are in Syria and have created a germinal safe zone of operations along their border.
A possible drawback is the zone does almost nothing for the contested region of Aleppo.
Training Syrian rebels has been exceedingly difficult. The US spent $ 500 million to try to train thousands of fighters. We successfully trained only a handful of fighters. The US has basically failed at this task. In fact, some of the fighters surrendered their weapons when confronted by ISIS fighters. Rebel surrender of weapons is tantamount to the US arming of ISIS.III. Withdraw from the conflict entirely: Positively speaking, this measure means the US will incur less culpability for the bloodshed in the region. However, ISIS will continue to grow and Syria will become an unrestricted launch pad for global terrorism.
IV. Arm and train the rebels: This measure will prove difficult because we are not sure about the identity of the rebels? Most candidates failed to pass through our vetting process. Christine Wormuth, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, admitted that our vetting process filtered a number of potential fighters.
Keep in mind; we have already seen disaster in our intervention into Syria. There is evidence to suggest that the rebels that were armed by the CIA may have used those weapons against the rebels armed by the Pentagon!
Don’t hesitate to leave comments in the comment section!