There have been several arguments and questions regarding this statement and I am personally against the idea of intervention from the West, militarily. I believe that because people are killed all the time, it is insane to think that sending in foreign military is the answer to the question, as neither Britain nor USA are the world’s police force. If President Assad didn’t want the west getting involved he would have avoided chemical weapons to begin with, so assuming that he has used them, surely he is already prepared to take a few tomahawk missiles and therefore we have no ability to deter? Throwing in another hypothetical, maybe he wants the west to have a direct but limited involvement. Therefore, the support he receives from Russia may enhance with masses of new weaponry following suit. These are but a few of the many reasons that I shall cover in this essay in putting forward my argument in the hope that the cons of military involvement can be seen to outweigh the pros.
There are a number of reasons as to why I am against military intervention from the west. I disagree with the statement at hand, firstly because I find it ludicrous that the metaphorical ‘red line’ has been drawn so late. President Obama claims that the use of chemical weapons is the ‘line not to be crossed’ and I find this ridiculous for the reason that if this ‘red line’ had been drawn previously, then there is very strong possibility that chemical weapons would not have been used at all. I feel very strongly that this whole situation could have been avoided, had the ‘boundary’ been placed earlier, preferably after the 100,000 deaths caused without chemical weapons which were, in essence, ignored. Another reason why I disagree with this statement is because the USA would be intervening without UN authorisation which, despite being perfectly possible, would result in possible disbanding of the UN. There have been cases in the past, such as the League of Nations, where one country has committed an act without approval from the committee and this has resulted in huge problems, conflicts and destruction of the organisation involved.
Additionally, military intervention risks making an already bad situation, worse. Matters are already very delicate with the lives of many at stake and all the talk of attacking Syria might tip-off Assad, resulting in him attacking back, therefore putting more lives on the line. This links in with the fact that a military attack could ultimately result in another war, just like the events in Afghanistan which was a similar situation in which Britain was supposed to carry through a quick operation but got dragged in to extended conflict. Is it worth putting the lives of troops and innocent civilians on the line, when the probability of an extended war as a result is still very strong?
Moreover, I strongly argue that more time should be spent helping the refugees who have suffered as a result of the chemical warfare and killings, rather than trying to harm those responsible. I believe that what’s done is done and fighting violence with violence would simply mean stooping down to Assad’s level, which poses the question ‘what is the difference between us?’ Lastly, if helping the refugees is not convincing enough, surely other methods can be thought of, other than warfare? The idea of taking away the chemical weapons is a lot less damaging both mentally and physically, and can also save time and resources. If not this, then designated no fly-zones or sanctions should be imposed on those responsible, to limit their options and protect the innocent without using violence.
Despite me bring strongly against the idea of military intervention from the west; it would be unfair to completely rule out the arguments in favour of this idea. There are, truthfully, many valid reasons condemning foreign attack on Syria, but these all come with a price that makes the risk not worth taking. For example, many argue that those responsible for the chemical warfare and damage, deserved to be punished for their wrong doings and that punishing these people would mean brining justice to the people who have suffered. Nevertheless, I disagree with this because the method being used to bring this ‘justice’ is violent and destructive, in the same way Assad’s chemical warfare regime was violent and destructive. As stated earlier, this would simply mean we are stooping down to their level and fighting violence with violence, making the idea totally irrelevant and morally incorrect. Moreover, a few people bring forward the argument that military intervention did work in Libya and so it should also work in Syria. However I disagree with this and believe it is wrong because the events and situation in Libya was different, and just because military intervention worked that once, does not give any guarantee whatsoever that it will also work in this, different, situation.
As well as this, one reason in favour of intervention that is commonly put forward and was introduced by Obama himself is that the airstrike launched by the USA against Syria does not have to be major; it can be limited and be used as a means of’ getting the message across’. Yet I think this idea is deluded. Why waste the time, money and resources on launching this ‘limited’ airstrike to get a point across that can otherwise be put across without using violence. For example by imposing sanctions and proving to other countries that their options will be limited; should they use chemical weapons. As well as this reason, it is argued that it is immoral to sit back and do nothing whilst genocide continues, but considering we would be fighting genocide with murder, the idea of it being immoral sounds hypocritical.
In conclusion, the idea of taking military action against Syria is unappealing, destructive and immoral. Attacking the country is not worth the risk and there is a very high chance of innocents being killed, troops dying and a new war starting. A non-violent form of help is the best method, preferably taking away the chemical weapons completely and punishing Syria by imposing sanctions, no-fly zones and jail sentences. I have argued strongly about the fact that intervention would result in murder, and I stick by this, but I do not believe that those who have committed such deeds should go unpunished. The major culprits should be punished aptly, but the whole country does not have to suffer; the troops don’t have to go on another mission that could last longer than expected. Getting more people involved will only worsen things, it is, in my opinion, best to avoid violence and send a message out to all other countries by non-aggressively punishing Assad and those responsible.