An Essay On Syria
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Politics

An Essay On Syria

A response to President Trump's act against Syria and anticipating future military actions.

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An Essay On Syria
The Nation

I am sure we are all aware about Syria. Its civil war has cost the lives of over two hundred and fifty thousand Syrians and has left the world with the worst refugee crisis we have seen since the end of the Vietnam War if not World War Two. I know Bashar al-Assad's most recent alleged chemical attack provoked an outrage in the United States, and even drove President Trump to fire nearly sixty Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian airbase. I'm happy that we're sending a message that government sanctioned terrorism will not be tolerated, but I'm afraid we are toeing a line between intervention and invasion.

I think part of this idea that we have to intervene were injustices take place comes from the idea of American exceptionalism. I believe in American exceptionalism, but I think the idea has gone from one of pride to one of arrogance. For the last fifty years, we have jumped into conflict after conflict believing that America would emerge as the victors due to prior victories from the American War of Independence to World War Two. This mentality has led to a gross underestimation of groups like the Viet Cong, al Qaeda, and the Taliban by politicians here in the United States. Our men and women in the military are well aware of what it takes to fight a war, but political inconvenience often limits what the military is allowed to do. I'm afraid the current administration may see the Syrian conflict as one that will be easy to win.

Something else that the United States must consider is the duration of a war. Due to our exceptionalism, I believe the civilian population thinks war will be a quick "in and out" fight: America goes in, kicks ass, people love us, and then we go... right? Well... no, not really. We saw in Iraq and Afghanistan that a big part of war isn't actually the fighting- which I think there would be a lot of in Syria with government forces, ISIS, and other militias that may or may not be friendly- but the reconstruction of the indigenous infrastructure, as well as a policy called "nation building." Nation building, as I am sure many are aware, is when a nation, sometimes with the assistance of other nations, tries to unite its people and rebuild its infrastructure. It took twelve years for the American Reconstruction to bring the South back on its feet, and some historians say even that was too short of a time. Before you post "We need to attack the oppressive Syrian government!" Ask yourself if you are willing to pay for another ten years of war where Americans are not directly at risk.

That all being said, I am not for an isolationist stance on Syria. What I believe needs to be done- and I believe is already happening- is a few small Special Operations Forces teams being deployed: Navy SEAL teams and Delta Force operators to do small time raids against ISIS troops threatening neutral civilian populations and Army Special Forces (also known as the Green Berets) going in to train some of the Syrian rebel groups both to combat ISIS as well as assist them in their struggle against the Assad government. What I do not want to see is a massive, Persian Gulf War-style invasion of Syria- it costs too much for the United States in terms of both blood and treasure.

Am I heartbroken about what is going on in Syria? Absolutely. Do I believe something needs to be done about these infractions on the rules of war and human rights? Definitely. Do I believe the United States should lead the charge against these infractions? In a very limited capacity, yes. The reason why I'm against a massive hit against Syria is not because I don't care about the Syrian people, it's because I don't want to dragged into another failed nation building campaign.


God bless- DB

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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