Why we should get out of Syria Now
Aleppo Syria is often in the news these days as it well should be. What’s going on there with the civil war is certainly a catastrophe of the worst order. If that is the case, why do I believe the United States should get out of there post haste? Sit tight, the answer starts a few years ago …
As recently as 2005 Aleppo had 2.5 million citizens and was among the oldest cities on record. It had multi-denominational churches and mosques that coexisted. In 2012 however it became a chief battleground of the Syrian Civil War. Massive protests against the government of Bashar al-Assad spilled into Aleppo with rebel fighters from a variety of groups battling the government forces to this day. If it was only Syrian rebels against the Syrian government it would probably be long over. However Islamic extremists and foreign fighters joined the battle. Followed of course by foreign countries who supported one side or the other. The end result is an ancient city reduced to rubble. Most if its citizens either left, or died in the cross fire with bombs still dropping on the city daily.
The United States has had a policy of assisting the moderate rebels including the Free Syrian Army and a shifting alliance of moderate Islamic fighters. However, Russia, Iran and Lebanon has decided to back the government of Bashar al-Assad. You don’t need to be a foreign policy expert to realize this is a toxic mix that has greatly increase the destruct power of this civil war.
The question now becomes one of will. That clearly is on the side of Russia and Iran. They have become far and away the aggressors in this battle. Prior to 2016 the United States could have stepped in to become the dominate force to determined what would happen. Bottom line is we didn’t. Russian and Iran saw this as a sign of weakness and moved in whole heartedly. As of now they control the battle and have forced the United States to play such as weak roll that we can no longer even come to the bargaining table.
With that in mind continuing to support the moderate rebels will only extent the bloodshed. One alternative is to establish zones of protection by splitting Syria which would directly confront Russia and Iran. Something akin to East and West Germany in years past. To leave would appear an incredible weakness on our part, but that was already long decided by our limited strategy in this war. The Russian and Iranian alliance has already usurped the United States. To stay the fight now would only extend death and destruction. A terrible choice, but one already determined years ago.