During the past few weeks, you’ve probably (maybe?) noticed an increase in the talks about our impending attack on Syria, and also the overwhelming amount of support to do so from many of our lawmakers. For my friends who haven’t been able to follow the news, I just wanted to give a very basic idea of what I understand the situation to be.
Currently, the United States, followed by Britain, France and Germany have all agreed there’s strong evidence of the use of fatal chemical weapons by Syrian president Al-Assad. They’re saying it’s time for them to step in and show Al-Assad that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated. HOWEVER, the evidence is still heavily disputed by Russia, who is allied with China. Both Russia and China are urging us NOT to stage a military intervention and Russia has vowed to protect Syria against outside aggression. (Aside from Germany and Syria, the aforementioned countries are the 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.)
The rest of the United Nations are also saying that it’s too early to do something so drastic. The UN Chief himself warned against what the United States is trying to do – but our executive authority doesn’t reaaaally want to wait for approval.
Just to provide some reference, China and Russia are currently 2nd and 3rd, respectively, behind the United States in overall military expenditure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures I know it’s a wiki link; the table is just a good visual). HOL-Y S***, is this for real? Yes, it is for real.
As you can see, there are a number of big players in this game – countries who spend a substantial amount of resources on their military, and some who also have nuclear power.
Compounding these issues is the fact that the U.S. has had an increasingly tense relationship with Russia (think Edward Snowden/WikiLeaks and gay rights.)
To put it simply, Russia and the U.S. are about ready to battle it out, and Syria is where they would do it. Such an action could trigger a series of very dire geopolitical events.
If we go to war, the United States will be fighting alongside Britain, France, Germany.
Russia will be fighting alongside Syria, backed by China.
Syria says if we attack, they along with Iran, will launch a military response against Israel (a vital and strategic U.S. ally)
Also, I’m going to throw this out there just for the sake of it, but we all know how much North Korea despises Western ideology. Combined with their relatively positive relationship with China, I am led to think that Kim Jong-Un probably wouldn’t hesitate to oblige if asked to join arms with them.
So, let me break this down again:
U.S. + Britain + France + Germany + Israel + (some other countries)
Russia + China + Syria + Iran + (maybe?) North Korea + (some other countries)
= very possible World War III
I acknowledge that there are valid reasons behind a U.S. strike, but the evidence must be presented clearly and transparently. It has not been. More importantly, I think the imminent threat of a world war hosts such grave consequences, that the general public likely would not want to wage any attack at this point.
This is also a little random/just my opinion, but it’s interesting that our administration has agreed to provide firepower to rebels fighting Al-Assad, all while simultaneously believing that no citizen in the United States is competent enough to safely handle their own. They may argue that the nature of the situation is not comparable, but will it eventually be?
TLDR; U.S. and Russia want to fight each other, want to use Syria as a playing field, could lead to nuclear WWIII. One wrong move, everyone dies.
edit: Since I wrote this, Syria has agreed to begin negotiations and cooperation in relinquishing their chemical weapons supply to the UN.