Dissecting the affairs of nations
The same administration that has conjured up the pride to announce its resilient effort of capturing the leader of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin-Laden, is now publicly admitting its funding of arms to a group known for its close ties with that same terrorist organization. In other words, the USA will fund the rebels of Syria, the FSA. And for the first time, do it publicly without extortion of Saudi and Qatari billionaires in order to do it. What does this mean exactly? Why is this a big deal?
The obvious is in plain sight for us to see. Obama’s administration is giving weapons to rebels in order to remove Assad from power. But as political thinkers and analysts we must view this in more depth. To see what potential consequences this may have we have to turn to history. The timelines and track records of the United States’ foreign policies to be exact.
When first viewing this, we can consider the situation of arming the Taliban in the 1980’s in order to end soviet expansion as an example. Part of the Reagan administration’s policy to end the Brezhnev Doctrine in Afghanistan. In order to keep USSR from grabbing Afghanistan, Reagan threw millions of dollars worth of military aid in order to keep the rebels (The Taliban) in a fair fight.
Then we can jump and a view a more recent example; Libya. The USA along with many European nations sided with the rebels against the regime of Gaddafi. They sent weapons, fighter jets and launched missiles from many places. That way, they can tip the balance against the regime.
The most infamous example is Iraq. The screams by politicians about chemical weapons being in Iraq justified war. Now, critics of US foreign policies will tell you that the injunction of intervention in Syria is just as unnecessary as it was in Iraq. There were no chemical weapons in Iraq and there aren’t any in Syria, they would claim.
We can look at other examples in history, like Cuba, Kuwait, Nicaragua, El Salvador and the list goes on. One common string holds all these events together: The intervention came back to bite the US. Afghan rebels are now fighting against the same US side that armed them. The Libyan arming of rebels caused Al-Qaeda to conquer Mali’s deserts through stolen weapons that were given to the Libyans. Iraq economically damaged the US, and we can see very little accomplishment from the invasion as a whole. Cuba hates the US and almost attacked it during the missile-crisis, Central America turned communist at first chance and Kuwait intervention turned Iraq and Iran anti-western. Very little success comes from intervention overseas, so why do it again?
It does not take a political analyst to tell you that destabilizing Iran, Hezbollah and Assad is good for the United States. Any group that can fight America’s worst enemies will be backed by the US. But why fund Al-Qaeda-linked militia? Taking out Iran, Syria and Lebanon as well as blowing a Russian ally is a lot better to gain than just destroying Al-Qaeda links. Al Qaeda can be fought on numerous grounds, and removing them from Syria will not eliminate them. However, bringing down 3 evils to America is a lot harder, especially when it’s a direct blow the the government. The key here is destabilization, or demolishing the Middle East’s status quo.
So far the United States has agreed to only fund using air-dropped arms. Which means the US will not engage in no-fly zones and will not be sending ground troops in Syria yet. With that being said, keep these few things in mind. Three nations that boarder Syria have US military bases or US-backed bases inside of them ( Jordan, Iraq, and Israel). So if invasion were to become an option, trapping Assad will not be too difficult. Not to mention the current, and maybe soon to be former, president of Turkey does not have good relations with the Syrian president. Also, the Israeli-controlled Golan heights inside Syria is a clear shot and only a few miles away from Damascus, where Assad resides.
When last week looked so good for the regime of Assad because of Hezbollah’s intervention, Iran’s new credit line, and Russia’s missiles, as well as a major victory near the boarder of Lebanon, this week marked a huge momentum switch for the opposition. Nevertheless, Hezbollah announced that they will continue to fight despite American intervention, while rebel representatives are having a hard time deciding how, or if they even should, accept American arms. So the tides have not completely been turned yet even though they’re expected to.
No one can predict what will happen tomorrow, or the day after. Presidential elections in Iran, Russian-US relations, Turkish government, Israeli intervention, Jordanian military, and everything in between can deter the outcome in just a day. One thing is for sure, US providing arms to the rebels is prolonging the conflict in Syria. Two Syrian sides killing their own people, with what is now estimated to be 93,000 killed in the country. Syria is on its way to extinction, and maybe this will not end until more than just Syria is lost.