I'm growing more and more concerned about the escalating conflict in Syria, particularly the war of words between the USA and Russia. It seems pretty pointless to me from a US national security perspective. Precisely what vital national security interest does the USA have in Syria, that would justify the deaths of US servicemen in a conflict there? No-one has ever answered that question, as far as I know. There's been lots of waffling about "punishing Syrian President Assad for using chemical weapons against his own people", but why is that a US national security interest? The same goes for "countering Russian influence in the Middle East". Why does that concern us? If Russia's influence in Syria is diminished, in what way will that serve US interests?
Here are two video reports on US involvement in Syria, both dating from April this year. The first is from a left-leaning source (MSNBC), the second from a right-leaning one (Fox News). I find it very interesting that both tend towards the same conclusions. Please watch them both before reading further.
We're now seeing precisely the same pressure from the "establishment" to escalate our conflict with Iran. Here's Tucker Carlson again, last July.
I ask the same question about Iran that I do about Syria. Precisely what vital national security interest does the USA have in Iran, that would justify the deaths of US servicemen in a conflict there? If it's to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons - something that's not on the table in Syria - that might be a worthy objective, but is war the only way to achieve it? There are many other ways in which to exert pressure, and many are already being used. They're having a dramatic economic and social impact. Why not give them more time to work?
Unless and until those questions are answered, fully and completely, in a way that is readily understandable by the American people and will attract their support, I shall be opposed to any further US intervention in those countries. I've seen war - rather too much of it. I can't support any expansion of war that is not absolutely necessary . . . and I've so far seen no convincing explanation as to why that's the case, for the USA, in Syria and Iran. It may be the case for other countries in the region, due to their own national interests: but we're thousands of miles away. Why should our soldiers die for a cause that isn't really ours at all? Have we learned nothing from the thousands of US servicemen who died, and the tens of thousands who were injured and maimed (some for life), in Afghanistan and Iraq, where all our intervention has not produced peace, or even the semblance of peace?
Besides . . . isn't the preoccupation of the establishment with Syria and/or Iran ignoring the far greater long-term threat posed by countries that are far more powerful, and are spreading their influence far and wide? Would we not be better served to focus more attention and resources on our near-peer competitors, rather than minor powers who are, at best, pawns in the geopolitical game of chess?
What say you, readers?