To give a quick back history Syria has been falling into a civil war for the last nineteen months. On March 2011 there was an offshoot of the Arab Spring in Syria, which demanded for freedom and reform this sparked the continuing conflict. The “rebels” of Syria had decided at this point President Assad had to go. The death toll has now reaches 29,000 with horrific massacres of women, children, and old men. There are another 1.2 million citizens of Syria displaced from their homes.
How can the U.S help the Syrian opposition while avoiding another costly military intervention in the Middle East? The main reason for U.S involvement in Syria is to prevent any use or spread of chemical weapons. The worry is that President Bashar Assad of Syria has relocated these weapons and it will be difficult to monitor them or keep them out of al-Qaida terrorist hands. There seems to be a general plan for better U.S intelligence on the ground before any rash decisions are made. I feel strongly that staying out of these Middle East conflicts is the best idea for the U.S especially if we can’t even be sure of the allocations we pose.
Right now the U.S has limited programs to supply nonlethal assistance; some believe this should be tweaked so the rebels get more help building a stronger chain of command. If the U.S gives funding for the Free Syrian Army they will be able to defeat the regime, take over Assad, and control Syria’s chemical weapons. The Free Syrian Army sends updates to the State Department such as, “What we were worried about a few months ago is in the process of happening right now; extremists are more visible…This is due to lack of support to moderate groups.” While in office Obama and his administration started a Syrian Support Group to help the rebels. However, it was difficult to make successful without better knowledge of what was going on in the inside. Overall, it seems as if the biggest need from the U.S is money donations for Syrian rebels to attempt to take back control.
On the flip side the President of Syria continues to get support from wealthy Saudis, Kuwaitis, and Qataris. It is said that he travels to Turkey meets with Gulf individuals or Syrians who live in the Gulf, provides information for his plan and receives large sums of money to make them successful.
The current election is coming down to the last month and the U.S involvement in Syria has become a topic of conflict and controversy between the two candidates. Obama’s plan is provide the Syrian opposition with non-lethal support such as communication equipment, training, and humanitarian aid. He says he doesn’t want to add fuel to the raging Syrian fire. Romney’s plan is to work with our partner countries to identify and organize the rebels who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets. As I stated before no matter what political party I affiliate with I feel that U.S involvement in the Middle East is not beneficial to any country. Now this does not mean that I agree with what is happening in Syria or condone the killings of thousands of people, I am simply stating that if U.S were to enter into any war in the Middle East no good would come of it.