The civil war in Syria--which has once again been catapulted into the front pages by Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians--provokes many difficult questions. Should the United States intervene in Syria? If so, to what extent? What is our desired objective? How best to achieve it?
Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz--a historian and head of the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies at IWP--offered his insights into the Syrian dilemma in an article published on the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research (SFPPR) website on 18 September. According to Dr. Chodakiewicz:
"The United States has painted itself into a geopolitical corner over Syria. At the moment, Russia gloats, while China circles above, carrion-like, leaving America with no good moves. There is only lesser evil: in Syria, in the region, and on the global scene.
Backing the Alawite-led Bashar al-Assad regime of the national socialist Baath Party is tantamount to restoring the hostile situation prior to the Arab Spring, including Iran's nefarious influence in Lebanon with its Shiia proxy Hezbollah. Supporting the rebels means enabling the Sunnis in general, the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda in particular. Make no mistake, the rebels do accept support from the royalist Gulf States, but it is not the sworn monarchists or military secularists doing battle against the Assad regime. Although a minority, it is the religious extremists primarily who are most active and highly visible in combat. Al-Qaeda's black flags crop up all too frequently and foreign fighters speaking Russian, German, and Arabic have been reported on the battlefield as well."
To continue reading, please visit the SFPPR News & Analysis Section site.