News Daily Spot: A Gulf War Tragedy

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A Gulf War Tragedy

Source: U.S.News

Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria, a country nearly in captivity under the radical Islamic State group. A combustible mix that could easily explode, on the ground or in the air, with Russia defending Syria against the terrorist organization. This becomes more likely if we expand our air power, including drone use – air strikes, which are already on going, are often the prelude to war.

This has the ingredients of a deadly foreign policy conflagration, particularly given that the Russian head of state, Vladimir Putin, and President Barack Obama already have a tense relationship. In a crisis, can they talk and trust each other's word?
A tragic chorus connects these misbegotten wars (excepting Kuwait in the Persian Gulf, which involved a large multi-national coalition). We know little and care less about the people of the countries we invade; the government often operates in secrecy with no support from the world community; and when we are done, shambles remain. Stability is gone.
In Syria, civil society is in shambles, so that part of the job is already done. Obama seems to be searching for a way to stay in the game without getting too committed. The idea of arming and training "moderate" Syrian rebels is probably off the table. (That's a good thing.) Drones, his new, prized weapon of war against al-Qaida, the terrorist organization based in Pakistan and Yemen, may well enter the equation. Intensifying Air Force power may be his best military option, yet that runs the risk of a collision over a small desert country.
Obama should not make these decisions alone or even in private councils of war. In the words of his political mentor, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, "The nation has to be brought to war. It has to be a shared power, a shared responsibility." If the war-weary American public faces more violence and bloodshed in our name – and from our coffers – then Obama owes the nation a serious conversation and consensus about the Islamic State group. Its alarming spread from Iraq to Syria. Its horrible human rights abuses, particularly against against women. Its destruction of antiquities and sacred world heritage sites.

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