March 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm #155362
If you've been watching the news this week you may have heard the recent remarks on a nuclear Iran and what that means for not only the Middle East but U.S. National Security. You may have also noticed the prices at the pump ticking higher as tensions rise between Iran and Israel, and as the crisis in Syria continues.
Or you may have just written it all off, got caught up in Super Tuesday and the latest mud-slinging campaign adds, and paid no attention.
Either way, I've been following the situation in the Middle East with some of my fellow Norwich University Diplomacy graduates in our Facebook Forum for some time now. The discussion began with this very informative article from The Atlantic, titled, The Point of No Return.
We then progressed to a nice overview of how what was going on in Syria, would affect what was going on with Iran. Here is a nice overview:
One of my classmates, who works as a diplomat and who spent time in the region had this to say, "After having spent six months in Damascus, evacuated in late January, I have seen the slow descent in to darkness. Homs is about to become a large killing ground if we are to believe the reports coming out of the city. With Russia and China supporting the Assad regime what if anything can we do?"
Today, Panetta, opened his statements to the Senate Armed Services Committee by saying that it "would be a mistake" for the U.S. to intervene. McCain responded by continuing to argue for the use of force. He said, ""The United States has a clear national security interest in stopping the slaughter in Syria and forcing Assad to leave power. The end of the Assad regime could sever Hezbollah's lifeline to Iran, eliminate a longstanding threat to Israel, bolster Lebanon's sovereignty and independence, and remove a committed state sponsor of terrorism that has engaged in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction" (CNN).
So my question to you, besides, does this scare the beep out of you, is: Should the U.S. intervene in Syria? Should we take sides in the Iran and Israel conflict? If so, what does that intervention or Diplomacy effort look like? Is there an innovative solution that hasn't been thought of yet?
March 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm #155366
I have strong opinions on the whole thing, some of which I won't discuss here. I can say that I'm very proud of what my country did in Libya. Syria, however, is not Libya. There isn't multilateral support for a mission in Syria, and the region is much different.
As far as Iran and Israel are concerned, the best we can do is assume both are rational actors, and play it from there. That's exactly what President Obama is doing. He is assuming that war isn't the only solution because lets face it, Iran doesn't want war with the United States and Israel. Also, I don't believe Israel really wants war with Iran, I think they feel threatened and are trying to coerce Iran to behave differently.
I'm not an Intelligence Officer, I don't know enough to say what we should or shouldn't do. I do believe that a rational solution could be reached for now, but I don't think the long-term tension will dissipate quickly.
March 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm #155364
You raise an interesting question....what then defines a rational actor? And we could go on about that subject for days.
My personal opinion is that we are living in a much different time than ever before seen in history. Where it may have been possible to assume that the nation state may be a rational actor 40 years ago, we now live in a world where we have many non-rational actors (acting on behalf of the state) playing on the international stage. Maybe the nation state is rational, but what about special interest or terrorist groups who are not, and whose actions still affect the security and diplomatic relations of the state? Hmm.
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