Late June, 13, 2013, the Obama Administration announced it had confirmed the Syrian government’s periodic use of chemical weapons on its People as well as its intentions to offer the Free Syrian Army military support. Given the increasing military intervention from Hezbollah, ongoing military aid from Iran, and Russia’s apparent view that it is more unethical and immortal to break a legal contract than it is to halt its delivery of weapons systems, which will aid the Syrian government in its efforts to murder its People, opposition forces in Syria can certainly use the support of the United States.
There are those who believe, however, that the United States has no vital interests at stake in the Syrian war/humanitarian crisis. Here are three fundamental vital interests:
1. The use of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction threatens US and global security. Consequently, any use of weapons of mass destruction must be severely punished while any future use of such weapons must be prevented.
2. The globalized threat of terrorism continues. Not only are there globally connected terrorists operating in Syria, there is a very real chance the various terrorist groups, which have connections to Al Qaeda and other terrorist networks that are seeking to harm the US and its allies, could gain access to the aforementioned weapons of mass destruction.
3. The International Community has been shaped by various treaties and organizations, such the UN, in order to foster global security and stability. Instead of war, conflicting parties have been encouraged to seek diplomatic channels; however, the authority of international law and organizations must be supported by real action when parties fail to adhere to the consensus of mediators and the International Community. As such, the United States and all governments of the world have a vital interest in ensuring rogue governments like the Assad government conform to international norms and expectations.
Furthermore, there are also those who want to continue the pursuit of a diplomatic solution without Western intervention. Unfortunately, the Syrian government is likely using such efforts to delay military intervention while its allies are already escalating the conflict. Although arming opposition groups could create long-term threats, the argument is fast becoming a moot point thanks to the allies of the Syrian government. That said, direct military intervention by the West, especially air cover, continues to be preferable in the long-term, yet any action is likely to be limited. Consequently, a controlled arming of the Free Syrian Army with the West providing air cover is probably the best option at this time.
While the above analysis offers the best solution for a rapidly worsening situation, such an approach should be taken with the following two analyses from a year and two years ago in mind:
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