What started as a peaceful protest against Middle Eastern dictators seven years ago, has now developed into one of the most brutal conflicts in the world. The presidents of Egypt and Tunisia were successfully forced to resign from their position after the Arab Spring in 2011. These events led pro-democratic Syrians to believe that they could come to the same outcome and have their president, Bashar al-Assad resign from his position. It was at that time that a few teenage boys expressed their popular opinion on their president using graffiti on a wall, in which they were caught and were mistreated and imprisoned by city officials.
The mistreatment of the boys resulted in the Syrians to further voicing their opinions which they began to protest. Bashar responded to these protests using forceful measures, resulting in hundreds of protesters not only being imprisoned but murdered.
The murders of innocent civilians prompted people to join together and form an organized militia, The Free Syrian Army, FSA, whose goal as an organization was to protect protesters as well as bring down President Assad.
By 2012, the conflict developed into a civil war with the FSA and other groups fighting against Bashar and his supporters. Middle Eastern countries then divided, one half supporting the anti-Assad rebels and the other half supporting Assad himself.
In 2013, chemical weapons were used, harming hundreds of innocent men women, and children, which urged other countries to begin their involvement in the conflict including the UniteStatesed who the CIA to train members of the FSA which made the United States an active participant in the Syrian war.
The IslamiStatetewhichho broke away from Al Qaeda, also referred to as ISIS, then stepped in and used violent acts against civilians to claim the territory of Syria. We are currently in 2018, and over 465,000 Syrians have been killed with over half of the remaining population fleeing to neighboring countries including Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and more. The Civil War in Syria continues with Bashar al-Assad as president, rebel groups such as athe s ISIS uprising, and the rest of the world watching trying to figure out what to do next.
Discussions on behalf of the countries that stand by those who are against al-Assad and his regime, including the United Kingdom, France, and the United States, have come to light. A decision on whether or not other countries will be intervening has still not been made. Not doing anything and just standing by could give President Bashar the impression that he will pay no consequences and will get away with murdering thousands of his people without any retaliation, but on the other hand, any country intervening and fighting against al-Assad and his forces, including Russia, is putting their country at risk. The main argument for possible resolutions of the conflict in Syria is whether or not the United States should intervene with military force. The answer to this question is a hard no, the United States should not impose military intervention upon Syria, which will be the argument of this papThree reasons will be addressed: one, it goes against international law, which states that forces amongst other countries should only be for as self-defense, secondly, it will result in the United Nations to suffer the same fate as the League of Nations because of the lack of leverage in which military action will be taken with no authorization from the Security Council, and lastly, more of the innocent civilian’s lives will be taken, even beyond the borders of Syria because of the potential of the conflict spreading.
The United States not intervening in the Syrian conflict not only benefits them as a country but also benefits the remaining people that reside in Syria as well as their neighbors. Rather other resolutions may result in more effective results such as cutting contracts with suppliers designated in Russia, as well as having broader economic sanctions to disrupt the supply chain of artillery, and gaining more support for opposition forces. To begin with, the United States should not intervene in the Syrian conflict because it is a violation of international law. Executing even the smallest amount of defensive forces without approval from the United Nations Security Council, puts the international legal system, as well as the citizens of the United States, at risk. The United States has no legitimate reason to intervene with forces in Syria. In Article 2(4) of the United Charter and customary international law, it is stated that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or anther manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.” (“Chapter I”, n.d). The only exceptions that apply to this article are categorized by the Security Council or particularly for self-defense. This regulation even applies when laws are violated by states, in this case being the 1925 Geneva Protocol, in wh it “…prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons…” (“1925 Geneva”, n.d).
With this being said, the use of forces would not be a case of self-defense, because fact of the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the matter is, we have not been threatened or targeted by President al-Assad or the state of Syria.
We have been targeted by ISIS, but cannot and shall not invade a whole country, which homes to innocent people, due to one radical group that resides there. Nor has our intervention been approved by the Security Council and most likely never will be, this is because Russia is amongst the 5 permanent members of the Security Council, giving them the power to veto, and is also an ally of Syria who wants to protect President Assad. Perhaps force was conducted towards Syria, despite the international law, this then legally gives not only Syri but every allying state, the right to attack in self-defense. When potent nations such as the United States, continue to break the law, the law is no longer law and every other nation will fight against it as well.
Furthermore, with the failure of complying with international law, the falling of the United Nations can result. The United Nations would be looked at as a bloated meaningless bureaucracy, when in fact it is the complete opposite. The United Nations is an organization that facilitates cooperation and promotes respect for human rights and social progress. It would be devastating to see the UN have the same fate as the League of Nations, which failed at maintaining peace in the world after the war that broke out in 1939, due to their lack of leverage, in this case, in sending forces to invade another state with no authorization from the Security Council, who is in charge of maintaining peace and security. The United States striking Syria in defiance of other countries and major leaders, including the Pope, could lead to the conflict being spread way past the borders of Syria.
Such actions could weaken multilateral efforts that are being used to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and could demoralize the Middle East as a whole. As you take a closer look at the articles of the Charter, it is clear that these regulations are being overthrown. Under Article 51, It states “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations” (“Chapter VII”, n.d). In other words, a member of the United Nations must be under armed attack to justify the uof se self-defense. Striking Syria despite all the rules set by the UN oversteps international law just as the use of chemical weapons on one’s people does.
Lastly, the United States should not impose military intervention upon Syria because more innocent civilian lives will be taken. According to the Human Rights Watch, “the death toll from the conflict as of February 2016 was 470,000. The spread and intensification of fighting have led to a dire humanitarian crisis, with 6.1 million internally displaced people and 4.8 million seeking refuge abroad…by mid-2016, an estimated 1 million people were living in besieged areas and denied life-saving assistance and humanitarian aid” (“Trends in Syria”, 2018). The citizens of the state did not expect this to be the outcome of what started as a peaceful protest. There’s no way that the United States can assure that there will not be a rise in the death toll once they send even the smartest missiles with hopes that they will hit only the rebels, there is no certainty in the act of hope. Taking away their lives doesn’t only refer to the death toll rising, but also refers to the number of people who have lost their homes in the crisis, and live day-to-day life in the streets. It also refers to the number of people who have had to leave everything they’ve built for themselves and their families, just to relocate to another country to start all over with hopes that the conflict won’t spread, which is exactly what will occur if forces are sent in against authorization.
Despite the recent events imposed upon Syria, acts of violence are not guaranteed to resolve anything, nor is it the only thing that the United States can do to help those in danger. It simply does not make any sense for such a powerful nation to rely on a deadlier and less effective resolution. Rather than using forceful measures that will go against international law, result in the United Nations suffering the same fate as the League of Nations, and tatakinghe lives of innocent civilians, more peaceful approaches can be conducted. These peaceful measures include: continuing nonviolent protests, bringing awareness to the conflict to buildup international support,
and placing major economic sanctions on the Syrian government to halt their chain of supply in stocks that they rely on to attack their citizens. These peaceful measures may take time, but they promise a better future than war does.
The Syrian conflict needs to come to an end, but imposing military forces upon them will mark the beginning.