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El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua

Obama and the
Unavoidable Intervention



By Antonio Caño

The conflict in Syria has reached a point where Obama cannot remain indifferent without putting in danger not just the future of Syria, but also the influence of the United States in the region.

Translated By Alan Bailey

6 December 2012

Edited by Kyrstie Lane

 


Nicaragua - El Nuevo Diario - Original Article (Spanish)

Barack Obama has taken modest but unmistakable steps toward the acceptance of an inevitable reality: the war in Syria will not have a happy, imminent or simple end without greater military involvement from the United States.

The conflict in Syria has reached a point where Obama cannot remain indifferent without putting in danger not just the future of Syria, but also the influence of the United States in the region. Washington could be forced to act in a more aggressive way if it does not want to lose control over affairs in the country.

The New York Times reports that a debate has been started in the administration about how far to go in Syria, from delivering weapons to the rebels to direct military intervention. For now, the latter option has been thrown out, but it could return to the table, at least when one considers a peacekeeping force to guarantee a possible ceasefire.

Thanks to their diplomatic pressure, the U.S. has already achieved the formal unity of the Syrian rebel groups. There are still doubts about who exercises control over this conglomerate, but the U.S. administration is ready to grant it official recognition.

This recognition would open the door to the supply of weapons, either directly or indirectly, via their allies in the region. The delivery of weapons would balance the war, but not guarantee a rebel triumph nor give any kind of assurance that the scale holding the opposition forces will not tip in favor of more radical Islamic groups. This is one of the big worries of the U.S. and the principal reason why it needs to take the reins.

The military path is not free from risk. It would have to be initiated without the support of China and Russia, thereby lacking the approval of the United Nations Security Council, and with doubt about the position of Egypt. On the other hand, the U.S. would have the strong backing of international public opinion, with important allies such as Turkey in the Arab and Muslim worlds and with the military cooperation of European counterparts. But, above all, only a military intervention will provide the U.S. a role in the future of Syria and put it in a position to attempt an orderly transition.



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