The ongoing civil war in Syria has created quite a geopolitical predicament for President Obama. I find myself agreeing with him on fewer and fewer issues, but I have to say he is taking the right approach on Syria.
Recent reports have suggested that several members of Congress are calling for the president to step up the U.S.’s efforts in Syria with military intervention and an arms embargo. Despite all the pressure, Obama has remained cautious in his response. He acknowledged that this is a very difficult situation, but he is standing firm by insisting that his bottom line is “what’s in the best interests of America’s security.”
The president is right to resist. We have no business being in Syria, or providing additional arms to the militants battling the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Syrian Army is already receiving arms from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other gulf nations. Most recently, Israel warned the U.S. that Russia plans to sell Syria S-300 missile batteries.
The conflict, which dates back to March 2011, began when protests against Assad, whose family has ruled since 1971, broke out across the country. Within a month, the protesters were arming themselves and preparing for war. Despite the fact that various organizations and world powers, such as the Arab League, the U.S., the U.N. and the European Union, condemned a war against the people of Syria, Assad deployed his troops with the order to open fire on anyone participating in the rebellion.
This civil war has been bloody, with reports of kidnappings, suicide bombings and torture, and innocent civilians being killed in the streets. According to a report released by the U.N. at the beginning of the year, the death toll had exceeded 60,000, and half of the lives claimed were innocent civilians.
Secretary of State John Kerry has confirmed that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own people at least twice since the war began. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the use of chemical weapons, a war crime by the Assad regime, “violates every convention of war.”