Foreign Policy and the Big Picture of Syria

  • Post category:Opinion

America’s Policing of the World

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Should America intervene in other countries’ problems. Should it focus entirely inwards to rebuild itself or should America look to fight in foreign conflicts?

The answer is more complex than it might seem. A strong nation requires a strong domestic core. This includes ensuring the development of industry and economy, technology, and services and ensuring the safety and rights of the population. A strong nation however, can not be great solely on its own merits. There has been no empire that maintained influence solely inside its original borders.

The Bigger Picture

The defense of intervention might seem noble, but it still does not explain the necessity for foreign intervention. The necessity comes in examining things from a wider perspective.

Foreign policy halfway round the world is often questioned as to its relevance to the U.S. Although the Middle East is an unstable area, it is not the job of America to fix it. Such thoughts are understandable but fail to take into account more current context: The world is a connected one and there will always be other powers competing with the U.S.

A strong nation requires a strong domestic core.

If the U.S. wishes to remain the primary world superpower and not be forced to submit to China or other countries, focusing entirely on the internal will not secure that position. No great empire ever survived by simply building itself internally; it required resources, influence in other trade markets, and to suppress its’ enemies.

This all means the U.S. must retain influence on the world stage, get itself involved in international disputes, and play to the bigger picture and long plan. Supporting allies like Poland is essential, in addition to preventing Russian influence in Europe that might further lead to Russia’s rise amongst the international community. It pertains to challenging China in the South China Sea, so as to not let China dominate its neighbors and abuse the resources and markets of other countries. Finally, this means supporting specific groups in the Middle East, so as to ensure the stability of a region that has demonstrated its conflicts spill across the globe.

Suppressing our competition and securing trade and investment will always be a vital path of American’s continued growth. Now is the time to sort out the domestic while not forgetting the world.

The Syrian Picture

It is a commonly held opinion that preventing further Russian influence in Syria is unnecessary. Russia should be left to sort out the problem; it has no relevance to the U.S.

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What About the Wider Middle East?

As of right now, the Middle East is poised for conflict and polarizing around two sides; the Iranian, Turkish, and Syrian side and the Saudi Peninsular and Israeli side. Letting Russia have more influence bolsters the Iranian, Turkish, and Syrian side to the point where any conflict is unlikely to be asymmetric. Currently the struggle is asymmetric, demonstrated by the insurgent-based (and Iranian funded) conflict in Yemen, as well as Iranian operations in Syria and the increased influence and funding of Hezbollah.

The increased support for Iran and the additional allowances given to Turkey bolster things to the point where the coming conflict will no longer be proxy. U.S. presence maintains regional order and, if maintained currently, will allow for the slow capitulation of the Iranian regime under its own population, rather than the unification of the nation in conflict.

Two thousand troops are a token. Admittedly, is it questionable as to how much good they are doing but the significance of withdrawing them demonstrates to other regional powers that the U.S. is pulling out. A sign that will only strengthen resolve and challenge against the U.S. in other places.

If this withdrawal is to be a success, the U.S. needs to make clear its continued support for the Kurds as well as continued support in other regional allies.

Embroiling ourselves in foreign conflicts is not the solution to take from this, nor is withdrawing into a manufacturing shell. The key is a healthy balance of sustained growth, whilst ensuring the safety and stability of markets and people abroad, all whilst suppressing and doing better than the competition.

The U.S. needs to play smarter, not harder on the world stage, looking to rise up and better ourselves looking into the long term future.

Ray Jones
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