If you are a policy wonk and you love human nature, studying the Middle East, and specifically Syria, is fascinating. There are tons of ancient history and complex issues encompassing religion, tribalism, wealth and power.
Syria is located on the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. To the north is Turkey. To the east is Iraq. South is Jordan and west is Lebanon. Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt are not far. This is just an extremely difficult area the world.
Basically, as I see it, we have a president who is desperately trying to hold onto power. We saw something similar in Egypt and Tunisia recently. The United States does not have close ties with Syria. Therefore, our leverage over Syria is limited. So, the question becomes how do we influence Syria? For conservatives, the answers are not satisfying. There is no direct way that we have to influence Syria. Russia and China have direct ties to Syria. They have the ability to truly influence how Syria behaves. For the most part, over the last several weeks, neither Russia nor China has been all that interested in stopping the violence within Syria. It is only recently that the UN Security Council has taken up a resolution to seriously end the fighting and massacres. This latest Security Council resolution to impose a cease-fire was spearheaded by Russia and the European Union.
As I see it, there are no good solutions without strong intervention from Russia and China. We can do what we can to try to influence Russia and China, but I do not see a role for United States getting directly involved in stopping the violence. This is different than Libya. In Libya, we had strong backing from Britain and France. They were willing to get directly involved. There’s no such willingness from Britain or France to do such in Syria. I think there’s a huge role for the Arab League to get involved. As a matter of fact, I think they should take the lead. The Arab League in conjunction with Russia and China can fix this problem. We should have a strong but supportive role.
What are your thoughts?