Foreign policy has often been the spear in America’s Achilles’ heel, and President Barack Obama’s second term appears to be no different.
A year later, things have changed, and our sitting president has a tough decision to make.
His first option is simple enough: completely bypass Congress — as many presidents before him have done — and send immediate help to Syria in the form of ground troops, more military aid or any other avenue his administration deems appropriate.
His second option is just as simple: wait for congressional approval and depending on how the members of Congress vote, either condemn the Republicans for their “national divisiveness” or praise the two parties for some misguided form of cooperation.
These two avenues seem straightforward enough for the president.
What they don’t tell us, however, is what is at the heart of the Syria dilemma: Should the U.S. intervene, and if so, at what capacity?
At the decision’s most barbaric, yet strikingly vivid root, what does it take to go to war?
Money. Does the U.S. have any money? We do not.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a budget surplus and even with a more optimistic report, this country’s economic outlook — combined with the uncertainty of Obamacare — remains extremely abysmal.
Our national debt is more than $16 trillion. America clearly has some monumental domestic issues to straighten out before becoming involved in another international conflict.
What could possibly be the best outcome for the U.S. in Syria?
Let’s say the Syrian rebels win.
In addition, the Syrian people themselves don’t want us intervening.
If the Assad’s regime triumphs, the world is back where it started: a ruthless dictator who violates human rights in power.
Some say that an extended stalemate is what America needs. They say the conflict needs to be drawn out as long as possible, and the U.S. should only become involved if its actions help level the playing field between the two parties.
This takes money and power, and it’s something the U.S. cannot afford to give either side.
If we do what is best for us, we will stay out of Syria. It’s as simple as that. Have we learned nothing from Afghanistan? Have we learned nothing from Iraq? From Vietnam, even?
The senators who voted for the Syria intervention are conveniently receiving more money from defense contractors than the senators who voted against it.
If that, in itself, doesn’t say a whole lot about the Syria conflict, nothing else really does.
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