President Negotiates with Russia
Tyrek Shepard | Correspondent
The government of Syria is currently under scrutiny for waging a chemical weapons attack upon its own people. More than 1,000 people died in Damascus, Syria due to military commands to use the chemical weapons. However, the attack was not an act of random terrorism. There is currently a civil war in Syria between the Ba’ath Party-controlled government and the “rebels,” citizens who wish to eliminate that government.
Since April 2011 there has been an estimated 100,000 Syrian deaths, while millions of Syrians have fled to refugee camps in surrounding countries for safety. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has no plans to peacefully end the civil war. Assad has expressed that he intends to defeat the rebel-operated Free Syrian Army, as he continues to run the country.
Although this may seem to be solely a Syrian conflict, it is currently a violation of international laws; chemical weaponry is banned internationally due to its mass destructive power, a decision made in 1925 following World War I. The United States, the only nation currently recognized as an international superpower, has assigned itself the task of policing the war in Syria.
The Obama Administration is currently negotiating military action against Syria, subject to Congressional approval. If the United States does use military force on Syria then we face the threat of a Russian-aided Syrian retaliation. Though it is not ideal, a war with Syria could ensue if the United States moves too quickly.
If the United States chooses to get involved with the Syrian Civil War, the motives are similar to those of the Iraqi Invasion of 2003 during George W. Bush’s term. The Ba’ath Party, the same leadership that was in Iraq at the time of invasion, is controlling Syria. Former-President Bush wanted to give the Iraqi people political structure and freedom, hoping for a democratic country. Weapons of mass destruction were also speculated to be in Iraq. Saddam Hussein, similar to President Assad of Syria, used chemical weapons on Iraqis. This 21-day invasion later spawned into the Iraq War, which lasted more than eight years.
The United States’ history of ambassadorial invasion also includes involvement in the Vietnam War. During the Cold War, communism was spreading throughout weaker Asian countries and tackled Vietnam. North Vietnam was falling to communism whilst South Vietnam was resisting, resulting in the former seeking aid from China and the latter receiving it from the United States. American’s were generally displeased with the United States’ active role in the conflict, though that did not cause the U.S. to withdraw troops immediately. The Vietnam War was largely considered to be a failure on the United States’ part. The North Vietnamese won the war and ultimately took control of the government.
The United States was featured as a supporter of South Korea in the Korean War. North Korea and South Korea were divided by communism and both fought for government control. The opposing parties were fighting for two different governments, eventually signing an armistice, ceasing all fire. The United States did not unite the countries, but they were able to divide the peninsula between the two nations, allowing them to have their respective governments.
Based on history, an American invasion of Syria could spawn multiple outcomes, varying from war, unification, secession, or one side obtaining absolute power.
Tuesday night, President Obama addressed the nation announcing that he would hold off on military action for now. Instead, he has chosen to pursue a proposal of international monitors to take control of and destroy Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons, offered by Russia. In his speech, the President detailed a case for the pursuit of Syria for its use of chemical weapons; Americans who, after the experiences of Iraq and Afghanistan, are apprehensive about military engagement with Syria, have a right to their concerns, he also acknowledged.
“It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments,” said Obama, according to The New York Times. “But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force.”