One would think that after the nation being at war for nearly two decades, the last thing that any responsible person would be advocating for would be another military adventure. You would be wrong.
I stumbled across this yesterday on Twitter.
“One tweet, one snap of the finger would allow the US military to do what they do all over the world, which is save people’s lives.” @joshrogin joins @secupp on Weekend Warriors to discuss the humanitarian crisis unfolding under our watch in Syria: https://t.co/Ov42n7hfVg pic.twitter.com/YKWQh6yRPs
— SE Cupp Unfiltered (@UnfilteredSE) July 25, 2019
Imagine. A left wing talking head interviewing a left wing journalist about how easy it would be for US military forces to just do something.
Josh Rogin, who has blocked me on twitter after I started busting on him over his craptacular record of posting #FakeNews. Here are some examples
This is the hobby horse that Rogin has been riding for a few months:
About 10 miles from a U.S. military outpost in southern Syria, some 30,000 civilians are in crisis — with almost no food, water or medicine — and, for complicated reasons, the U.S. government refuses to feed them. These innocent people are living under the protection of the United States, fearing the Bashar al-Assad regime, Iranian militias and the Islamic State. But the U.S. government, which bears primary responsibility for their fate because of its control over the area, is standing by and watching them needlessly starve to death.
Let’s review the bidding. Right now we have less than 1,000 troops in Syria. Most of those are concentrated in the North. The American troops in the nearest the refugee camp Rogin talks about are few in number, they don’t “control” any area, the are mostly Special Forces trainers, and they are surrounded by enemies of many different varieties: ISIS, Iranian militias, Assad’s loyalists.
For more than eight years, the United States has failed to lead a strategy that puts the Syrian people’s interests first, and the world has failed to stop the Assad regime’s brutal slaughter of civilians — aided by Russia and Iran. But these 30,000 people are still alive and depending on the United States for survival.
One tweet, one snap of the finger by Trump could allow the U.S. military to do what it does for people suffering all over the world — save their lives. We can feed them, or we can transport them to areas of Syria not controlled by the Assad regime. But we can’t stand by and watch them starve needlessly in the shadow of a U.S. military outpost.
If we don’t act now, our neglect will make us complicit in whatever horror they suffer next.
F*** that noise.
I’m not a Ron Paul isolationist type. I think military intervention, or the viable threat thereof, is a critical piece of American foreign policy. If a national interest is at stake–and I say interest, not national survival–I have no objection to killing as many foreigners as it takes to protect that interest. But while the military has the ability to execute nation-building missions–in fact, it is no accident that the elite of the US Military Academy have until recently gone into the Corps of Engineers, or that coastal forts, harbors, and post roads in the early republic were build by the US Army–that has to be part of something that is important. What we’re doing in Syria is not only not important, it is arguably counterproductive. Do we really think ISIS was any more evil than Iran? Are we better off with Iran calling the shots from Tehran to the Mediterranean?
What Rogin is advocating is a replay of Somalia in 1992-93. He wants us to get involved in trying to resolve a humanitarian crisis in an environment where there is little infrastructure and no security. I’m not a huge fan of the Powell Doctrine but, arguendo, let’s use it as an analytical tool:
- Is a vital national security interest threatened?
- Do we have a clear attainable objective?
- Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
- Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
- Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?/li>
- Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
- Is the action supported by the American people?
- Do we have genuine broad international support?
Here are my answers:
- Nope. Not even a minor one.
- Are you sh***ing me?
- Yes, and the US Representative for Syria says there is no upside to getting involved.
- Absolutely not. There are NGOs. There is the UN. There are other governments. The image at the top of the page indicates the UN an Red Crescent are active there.
- Are you sh***ing me?
- No. And just because this isn’t starting out kinetic doesn’t mean it won’t go that way. See Mogadishu.
How many American troops is Rogin willing to kill so that he can feel good about himself? A hundred? Fifty? Surely, he must have a number in mind.
Trying to provide relief to these people would require the infusion of several thousand troops to a) deliver supplies, b) guard the supply dumps, c) secure the convoys delivering the supplies. This would inevitably serve as a magnet for both more refugees and for people wishing to carry out attacks on US military forces. While it sucks to be those refugees, there is little we can really do about it without creating a larger mess than exists.
The sad fact is that this civil war is over. Bashar Assad has won. The war that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton kicked off thinking the could quickly dispose of a guy who really needed killing mutated into a war that has lasted seven years, engendered genocide and ethnic cleansing, displaced millions of people, and, inadvertently, change the dynamics of European politics perhaps forever as countries, like Italy, will find their own people a minority in their own country within 50 years. There is no US national interest in getting involved in this mess and once we are there, we own it.
What I don’t understand about the left is their opposition to military actions that actually make sense (like keeping Central America from going communist) and the way they drool at the idea of getting young Americans killed for a warm fuzzy feeling and cocktail party banter (Somalia).
This misadventure should serve as an object lesson at the futility of letting failed novelists and narcissistic bloviators get us into wars. It should not be a catalyst to sending more American troops to do nothing worthwhile and great cost of time, treasure, and blood.