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Raymond Blais

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Should we bomb Syria?

Without any precursor lets see what the Ted community has to say.

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  • Sep 7 2013: Which "we" shall we define as the ones to "bomb Syria"?

    The US? Other than acting as global police, no, this is a poor move. Limited bombing and shock and awe will do little to resolve the issue.

    France? Uhm, what is France going to do? No, really, what are they going to do?

    The rest of the MIddle East? If he MIddle East believes that Syria needs to be dealt with, deal with them. Launch attacks and send in ground troops. Deal with the problem in house rather than relying on Big Brother to come and bail you out.

    The issues with Syria will not be resolved by bombing and will only cause more issues if that is the sum total of the response. If you want Assad in prison, plan on going in and getting him. That means troops on the ground and proof of chemical weapons. If you are not willing to put men and women in harm's way, then do not plan on resolving the issues with Syria at any time in the near future.
    • Sep 7 2013: The French feel something of a responsibility to any area they've governed in the past, Syria included. With or without the Americans, they can actually muster up the firepower required to bring down Assad if they want to (or more precisely, hurt him enough that the militias outgun him).
      Turkey to Syria's northern border has even more capabilities (the proximity allows them to muster all their firepower, which is quite extensive), and have expressed a strong desire to join in on an American bombing campaign. If the US doesn't attack, those two just might independently.

      Israel and Jordan will probably also opt in if Assad is dumb enough to bomb either in retaliation. Again, both have the capacity to harm Assad enough that the militias take him down within weeks, without setting a single boot on the ground.

      Concerning the US, its not about being the world's cop. They have several vested interests to bomb in Syria.
      First, to prove that they can bite as well as they bark (Obama made a threat, so he needs to uphold it, otherwise his threats won't get taken seriously in the future). The general consensus in the middle east at the moment is that the Americans are all talk and no action--which leaves everyone very worried about a nuclear Iran.

      Second, help shorten the war and restore some stability to the region. You may even save some lives along the way.

      Finally, if America doesn't attack, you can be sure the countries bordering with Syria won't forget it. Turkey is already moving away from the west, Jordan is horribly destabilized by refugees, and Israel may well decide to attack Iran independently, causing a war to break out. And these are all countries the US is invested in.
      • Sep 7 2013: : I do understand the logic of the countries surrounding Syria considering attacking. They do have a vested interest in their own self-defense. Especially if Assad is actually using chemical weapons. They need to protect their own borders and a pre-emptive strike is not a bad solution in knocking out the capabilities of Syria before they can attack across borders. If he has used chemical weapons once, he is more likely to use them again.

        France often surprises me, as I don't actually know their military capabilities. And they are not often an aggressor nation in these instances. But that may be my own lack of knowledge of France.

        Obama backed himself into a corner stating that chemical weapons were a line in the sand. Any time you say that, you had better be ready to back it up with force. Otherwise you do look weak. That being said, the United States is tired of fighting and war. They are tired of seeing their soldiers come home wounded and disfigured after such a long and drawn out military conflict that doesn't seem to end. And, the conflict is in a part of the world that appears to have no interest to the US.

        The current strategy, bomb and shoot cruise missiles in a limited manner, may or may not have much impact. If intelligence is right, it could have a great deal of impact, if wrong, it could create another huge mess. And ultimately it does nothing to remove Assad. It only makes big explosions.

        If you are going to win a fight, put boots on the ground or arm the rebels who are fighting against Assad to protect the people.

        Better yet, arm the rebels and expose Assad for his attacks. People may disagree with attacking Syria, but they won't argue with hard evidence that Assad used chemical weapons. Expose every person involved in the attacks publicly and name them by name while supporting the opposition. That will have a greater effect long term in the region.
        • Sep 8 2013: Obama is most definitely in a hell of a bind. This was a minor issue before he inflated it with bad handling.

          He could have attacked already on any scale he wanted without seeking approval from anyone, or backed out the moment it was obvious the American public isn't behind him.
          Instead, he's going all in on this formally minor issue. No matter the outcome, he comes out looking weak and ineffectual to his country, and the world.

          Regardless of his intent, this is some extremely poor decision making.

          If this is how he's handling a small bombing campaign in a weak and fragmented country, I don't think he's capable of tackling Iran (which actually has some limited capacity to fight back), and the Iranians know it.
        • Sep 9 2013: I don't agree about the "boots on the ground", though. You had me up to that point.

          If anyone were making the argument for sending military forces (American troops) into Syria at this time, I would be wholeheartedly opposed. Including but not limited to the following reasons:

          1- let's NOT expose American troops to chemical weapons
          2- let's not invade to then occupy yet another Middle East nation, while we wait and wait and wait for the nation to stabilize; our troops may never leave!
      • Sep 11 2013: I am not in favor of putting troops in harm's way, nor is most of the United States I imagine. But to win a war with only limited attacks does not put one in a position of power. At some point, if a change in power is to take place, someone must be on the ground, as a military force, to take charge or fight the fight. Ideally, not US soldiers.

        Any attack on Syria though will cause the Middle East to blow up in unknown and erratic ways with a myriad of possibilities with no good outcome.

        From our experiences in ground wars in the Middle East, we would get involved with issues and entanglements that would never end.

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