Syria: Is It Too Late?
Please visit our sponsor.
We should take a sober look at what may be the consequences of our reluctance to be involved.
What the United States should do in Syria.
This continues to amaze me, and so I will tell you what I believe the United States should have done in a simple and straightforward ' albeit overly simplistic ' way. And while it may be too late now, I believe this is what the US should still strongly consider doing:
We should have taken a much more active role in arming and helping the Syrian opposition at the outset of the conflict. We should have gotten people onto the ground inside of Syria who possess the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively build relationships with the main opposition groups ' namely the Free Syrian Army (FSA) ' and seek to discern which of the groups we could work with and help in tangible ways.
We should not send American troops to Syria. We should not create a no-fly zone. And we should not even so much as consider turning Syria into our next nation-building exercise.
That is what we should have done, what we still should do, and what we should not do.
Yet up until now, we have chosen to not do this. And as such, I believe we should take an honest and sober look at what may be the consequences of our reluctance to be involved even at a micro level such as I described above.
By sitting back and not actively looking for the opposition groups we can work with and support, we are effectively allowing the more extremist elements inside of the Syrian opposition ' groups like al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front ' to have a growing and strengthening influence. And that is a grave mistake.
It is a mistake because we are effectively allowing groups like the al-Nusra Front to take the many non-Syrian Jihadists that travel there to fight, many of whom are Westerners (some even American), and radicalize them even more. And this could have massive repercussions for American and Western interests around the world. In reality, it could have massive repercussions inside of America as well.
It's no secret that many terrorist plots against the West are carried out by people who spend time training and fighting in places like Afghanistan, and now in Syria. They initially go there to help liberate their fellow Muslims, but are quickly recruited into al-Qaeda like groups which train them and further indoctrinate them with violent, anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Israeli ideologies. Then these same people make their way back to the West much better trained, prepared, and brainwashed with the violent ideologies that guide these groups, ready to further the cause. And hundreds ' if not thousands ' of Western Jihadists who have been trained and equipped by groups like al-Nusra Front running around the world hell-bent on destroying anything they deem as unacceptable according to their skewed understanding of Islam seems dangerous to me.
Yet this is just another outcome of being decisively indecisive.
Jeff d. Patterson, Middle East Specialist: While the ashes were beginning to settle in New York City with the setting of the sun on 9/11, Jeff D. Patterson was unpacking his bags far, far away from American shores; far, far away from his family and friends; far, far away from his homeland. He was starting a new phase of life in a region of the world he would call ‘home’ for most of the next decade. Jeff was taking his first breaths of Middle Eastern air, thinking of the world becoming a better place… In contrast to most... (more...)