Syria: Why Do We Want to Get Involved?
The Obama Administration seems almost eager to get involved in Syria, but this would be a disastrous decision for the United States. We have tens of thousands of troops in places like Germany and South Korea, decades after the last wars fought there. In effect, we have been handling their defense expenses for them, even while we have to borrow money to make ends meet at home.
In more recent years, we have sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to fight in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. The total cost of these two conflicts is already nearing $2 trillion, with the bulk of the cost yet to be paid. Some experts think the total bill will eventually reach $6 trillion. Above that we must consider the death toll, and the wounds, both physical and emotional, of the survivors, the people who enlisted to serve this nation.
Syria is yet another Middle Eastern disaster zone that America would do well to stay out of. The mix of religious and political grievances of the various factions is long and complex and really is none of our business. Getting involved would be a huge added expense at a time when we are borrowing, each year, an amount equal to 10% of our Gross Domestic Product to make ends meet.
The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, has announced the results of a Russian study which conflicts with an American one. Specifically, they have determined that the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria on March 19th of this year was a sarin nerve gas of “cottage industry” quality, delivered by a crude missile, and almost certainly used by the insurgents, not the government. This has important implications, because the Obama Administration had used the chemical weapons excuse to send more arms to the Syrian rebels and further embroil the United States in the foreign conflict.
This latest Russian study is yet another reason to make us pause and reflect on what we really ought to do. Can we afford another conflict? Now that the humanitarian reason for getting more involved is in doubt, do we really want to go further down this path?
Our government has blamed the Syrian government before for atrocities that later were revealed to have been committed by the rebels. Right now there are two conflicting studies about the chemical weapons – both probably driven by the respective interests of the governments that commissioned them – and no one knows for sure who is right and who is wrong. It only serves to highlight the murky area we are operating in, and the need for prudence.
America’s attention needs to be focused on America. We are no longer the prosperous superpower we used to be. With the real unemployment rate at 23%, driven by a gigantic balance-of-trade deficit, we need an economic recovery, with American money spent here in America. The last thing we need is to send able-bodied men and women, and billions of more dollars, into yet another war zone that has nothing to do with us.