Posted by: The moderator | February 8, 2012

Libya in Syria?

We’ve watched for months as the bloodshed in Syria escalated, to the point that Syria’s neighbors and several Western countries have come to an agreement that something must been done soon to wrestle control away from Syrian President al-Assad. Unfortunately, with Russia and China blocking action by the UN Security Council, there are not a lot of good options left on the table. Pulling ambassadors and sending diplomatic communiques are fine and dandy, but they haven’t brought any change in the situation in Syria for the past few months.

Something more forceful needs to be done, but Americans don’t want another war and the West’s intervention in Libya’s civil war last year is one reason Russia and China gave for using their veto in the Security Council when a demand for ousting Assad was brought to a vote (lucrative arms deals and trade are the other, less-publicized reasons for their vetoes). Regardless, the military and intelligence communities in the United States are gearing up for something and commentators are lining up to show why this will or will not be like the Libya intervention.

Will we use another no-fly zone and tactical bombing campaign with no clear political solution after Assad is gone? Or are we going to arm rebels that we’ll fight ourselves a couple decades later like we did in Afghanistan when the Soviets invaded and in Iraq when they were at war with Iran? Or are we going to talk about it for another six months while more Syrians die? There’s just nothing good that we can do.



  1. Tough situation. This week’s economist offered a “what should we do about Syria” – you might want to check it out.

  2. Right on. The Middle East is a pretty foul place as far as getting involved in foreign policy disputes is. There’s pretty much no good solution. If we do nothing, we get attacked for ignoring human rights abuses. But when we get involved, we get attacked for being a foreign power intervening in a “civil war.” Hindsight is always 20/20 for politicians and pundits and policy critics alike.

    I think maybe the best option is to enforce a no-fly zone and work with Syria’s neighbors to encourage targeted people to flee. We won’t need boots on the ground, but we basically take the gun out of Assad’s hand?

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