International Crisis Group issues statement on Syria

International Crisis Group: Assuming the U.S. Congress authorises them, Washington (together with some allies) soon will launch military strikes against Syrian regime targets. If so, it will have taken such action for reasons largely divorced from the interests of the Syrian people. The administration has cited the need to punish, deter and prevent use of chemical weapons – a defensible goal, though Syrians have suffered from far deadlier mass atrocities during the course of the conflict without this prompting much collective action in their defence. The administration also refers to the need, given President Obama’s asserted “redline” against use of chemical weapons, to protect Washington’s credibility – again an understandable objective though unlikely to resonate much with Syrians. Quite apart from talk of outrage, deterrence and restoring U.S. credibility, the priority must be the welfare of the Syrian people. Whether or not military strikes are ordered, this only can be achieved through imposition of a sustained ceasefire and widely accepted political transition.

To precisely gauge in advance the impact of a U.S. military attack, regardless of its scope and of efforts to carefully calibrate it, by definition is a fool’s errand. In a conflict that has settled into a deadly if familiar pattern – and in a region close to boiling point – it inevitably will introduce a powerful element of uncertainty. Consequences almost certainly will be unpredictable. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “International Crisis Group issues statement on Syria

  1. Norman

    Too little, too late. Actually, face saving is the wrong attitude here. Playing this “KABUKI”, making up the play[s] as they go, is like a 6th grade grammar school class ad-libbing a school play. The whole lot of them are in over their collective heads, for they don’t even understand the consequences of their actions. Bomb, then go on to the next target. Hell of a way to go Brownie, or, that was another time, another person, another fiasco.

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