I realize that the most recent post is about Syria but progressions with this issue in the last few days make this a more pressing concern! Syrian Vice-President Farouq al-Sharaa recently came out and said that neither the government or the rebels can win the 21 month old conflict. Does this signal a stalemate?
The United States has recently recognized the rebel group, this could be an indicator that unilateral action (or NATO) is coming in the future. 20,000 people have been killed in the conflict as international organizations have stood by and watched the conflict go on. After so much waiting, what could make the minds of leaders change and cause help to come? Well the answer to this may be something that falls into the category of national defense for the United States! Whether or not that claim is legitimate, it would be nice to have an excuse for taking action and stopping the conflict. An article from the Washington Post reported yesterday that the U.S. has growing concerns over the Syrian governments ability to maintain control of its chemical weapons. Russia had been trading these weapons with Syria and there is a stash of weapons that could be very devastating if they were to fall in the wrong hands. “Islamist extremists, rogue generals or other uncontrollable factions”(Washington Post, 12/16/12) are of the main concerns expressed by the U.S. as of now and that could be enough for action. Waiting for the UN to enforce a “No Fly Zone” or a “Safe Zone” seems unlikely at this point as China and Russia have vetoed such proposals from the west. Catering to these two countries as the U.S. did in the case of Iran and economic sanctions would take more time and be potentially ineffective. We have waited too long, the time to act is now!