Author: Kyle McNew

Intervention in Syria: Choose, but Choose Wisely

The temperature had reached about 115 degrees that day in August 2007.  I was a relatively young American soldier sitting in the backyard of a Sunni tribal leader, also known as a sheik, in a western Iraqi town called Ramadi.  Since 2003 this sheik and his followers had been hard at work trying to kill American servicemen.  Aided by foreign elements from al-Qaeda, they proved formidable at their task.  But something had changed by the time I arrived in that backyard.  The Sunnis had grown tired of al-Qaeda’s strong-arm tactics and attempts to institute strict sharia law. Changing tactic,...

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The Syrian Crisis: Why Non-Intervention is for Ideologues and Opportunists

Since fighting broke out two years ago in Syria, roughly 70,000 have been killed and nearly a quarter of the nation’s 23 million people have been displaced.  Refugees flee into neighboring countries on a daily basis.  Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have all established camps near their Syrian borders to house these individuals and families.  Syrian refugees are destabilizing neighboring countries, especially fragile post-war Iraq. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are waging a proxy war against Iran via the Syrian rebels to establish regional dominance. Russia and China are blocking UN Security Council intervention initiatives so as to maintain economic interests.  Moreover, European governments fear that inaction on their part will lead to unrest among their own growing Muslim populations.  So regardless of libertarian and isolationist calls to the contrary, the Syrian conflict is no longer local; it’s increasingly global.  Why then, despite growing concern abroad and at home, has the United States stopped short of offering military support?  The Obama administration has valid fears.  After decade-long conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, Washington balks at the opportunity to spend billions of dollars and countless American lives on another nation’s civil war.  Additionally, it’s possible that weapons could drift into the hands of radical Islamists.  It would be a nightmare for any administration to see U.S. anti-aircraft weaponry used against commercial airplanes.  There is one major flaw with this line...

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