In 2011 Syria started to break down as its people appeared to ask for better governance. Then it escalated into a civil war. Many sounded the alarm and asked for foreign intervention. But that didn’t happen. The US claimed there was a red line that had to be crossed before it took action.
So the red line was crossed. Someone fired chemical weapons and shockingly there was no corresponding international response.
Humanitarian crisis flared as many fighting factions emerged and it became clear that was going on had little to do with good governance. Still no intervention, until Russia goes in unilaterally.
…. Paris gets hit. ISIS claims responsibility. Then French planes fly in and bombard targets in Syria.
That’s paradoxical. And here is the lesson. When a state crumbles under civil war or insurgency, when there is a humanitarian crisis, that’s the time to intervene. Or else, we may start talking about terrorist safe havens, etc… And that’s exactly what has played out in Syria. Right now, Russia is so looking smart for initiating foreign bombardment in Syria.
But it was never a matter of genius thinking to intervene. We have too much historical evidence than to have allowed Syria deteriorate to this stage. I’m just glad we are finally taking the matter serious.
However, the crisis won’t be resolved at this time by merely an intervention of an international task force. There are millions of internally displaced people to take care of. The economy of that state is currently grounded. I don’t need plenty of data to figure out that the private sector has shut down over there and that unemployment is super high. The risk of contracting diseases have gone high up, and so has the incidence of poverty. Human development is in the dust.
These in themselves, according to a lot of Western analysis of what causes terrorism, could become inflammable fuel for terrorism and crisis in the nearest future. The scale of intervention Syria needs today is the sort that Iraq received following the 2003 war and It’s going to cost. Soldiers must go on foot to achieve peace enforcement. There would be involvement of civilian teams of experts for reconstruction. There would be heavy funding for developing new and better governance capabilities and for stabilizing the economy. Syrian national security forces would have to be reconstituted, trained and monitored for a while.
And now that bombardier planes from NATO States have started pounding perceived ISIS strongholds, that process of intervention has inevitably started. I don’t imagine that Britain, Germany, and the United States, to mention a few, would sit still at this point. I advise therefore that the international community begins to craft a plan of what to do and how to fund it after ISIS and other similar groups in Syria must have been militarily defeated.
I also say now is the time for the international community to take its ‘responsibility to protect’ serious. Identify States under critical pressure early. Send them the support they need before they break down and become a global problem. It’s less expensive, and fairer for global politics in the long run.