Welcome to the web chat. Please join in the discussion with any questions or comments. - Janet
Good evening everyone. Happy to be here to take your questions on Syria, the US, and the Middle East.
I have no problem with humanitarian interventions but this will be a military intervention without clear objectives or an endgame. There are 2 million internally displaced Syrians and another 1million refugees outside of the country. I would prefer the US and the international address that rather than resort to a military strike first.
There are many calling for someone to
Israel's official policy has been not to comment on the Syrian Civil War. This week that changed. They do not want chemical weapons being used at all. They are drifting towards the camp that wants a US-led strike.
someone to do "something". A military strike is something but it will not resolve the humanitarian crisis or resolve the conflict. It will be a pause in the ongoing civil there
The french will be supportive but this will be a US-led initiative.
I am hearing that it will commence on Thursday morning
But that is all conjecture. I suppose that given the level of discourse coming out of DC, the US can attack when they wish. Its a matter of when not if
That is a great question scott. There are over
1000 documented militias in Syria. Also, these regimes tend to store military sites in civilian neighborhoods. The chance of "collateral" damage will be high.
The UK will also be playing a supportive role. Even when conflicts are NATO-led as in Libya, the US tends to supply most (i.e. over 80-percent) of the military weapons. Ultimately, this will be US-led
Russia will not threaten the US directly over Syria. There is not a threat of a US-Russian war over Syria but the Russians are very upset that they are losing this foothold in the region. Arguably Syria is their last foothold in the MENA.
Thanks Constable. This is the danger of a military intervention as opposed to a humanitarian response. When airpower starts to be used, it changes the dynamics of the conflict and the groups on the ground. None of these groups can administer the state's resources to society. So if the regime is constrained so will its ability to service the citizens
Well, The president said that chemical weapons were a red line and a game-changer in bother 2012 and 2013. There is a fear that the spread of CW could destabilize the region further. The US and its allies are resorting to military power because there are no ongoing diplomatic efforts.
The US government has said definitively that they know CW were used. But ultimately, they are also shutting off the UN inspections because the latest policy is that any investigation now would be too late and not reliable. The US Gov also is promising definitive evidence that these were used but the report has not been made public yet. I suspect it will be released tomorrow.
Syria is a diverse country with lots of different groups of people, religions, and languages. It is far more diverse than countries like Tunisia or Egypt. Typically, this makes military action even more risky because its impossible to predict which way these groups will break for or against.
Great question. For better or worse the US is the leading militayr force in the MENA. Our airbases and fleets are all over. The US has very close relations with many countries in the MENA (both democratic and autocrats countries). After the UK and France ceded the region after WW2, the US inherited leadership. The US doubled-down on this security strategy after the Shah of Iran was overthown in 1979.
There are three types of intervention. 1) humanitarian, 2) sanctions, 3) military. The US is proceeding with option three without ongoing diplomatic efforts. It's a recipe for problems. The US militarily can do as its like and "win" the battle but as with Iraq, the problems begin the day after military objectives are achieved.
Syria is in the midst of a civil war, which began in March 2011. But the state is still operating. Bashar al-Asad will never govern over Syrian territory completely again but the state continues to function and control key strategic assets. It's not a failed state.
We have not seen the evidence yet although the administration claims it is definitive. They are discussing releasing the report (probably tomorrow). But if a strike would take place on Thursday for example - this is not enough time to responsibly think this through as an informed public should
Part of the build-up to the military intervention in Syria requires that we forget Iraq in 2003.
The UN is a no-go area. Russia will veto any action. So The US and its allies are just going to go around the UN. In fact US now saying that UN inspectors time has run-out to investigate what happened last week. It's leading a military attack without sharing full information with the public.
Sorry Nick - what I meant was part of the US strategy for attacking Syria requires that the US population forget the Iraq war. I am not saying we should. I am actually advocating the opposite. We should demand more information before we swing the hammer. I would actually argue that the US lead a humanitarian effort to ease the plight of all those Syrians that have been internally and externally displaced.
The US can take out Asad if it wishes. i doubt it will. The problem is that I doubt Bashar al-Asad is actually running the country. At this stage, the military generals and intelligence are likely more influential than Bashar is. He is just the public face. If you take al-Asad out, its not clear what happens next.