Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Attack on Syria; when it occurs, should be viewed as punitive and limited.

The current line of discussion by politicians and news channels regarding Syria is based on an argument of whether or not to engage in the civil war in that country. This keeps people talking and watching the shows and the ads that sponsor them. But it really misses the point of the strike that will be launched against Syria.

This action should not be a unilateral action of the United States of America but rather an action by the United Nations. The Syrian government has broken significant international laws the punishment must be forceful. It must send a message to any nation in the world that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.

This action should not be viewed tactically as an entry point into Syria's civil war. Rather it is punishment for unlawful behaviour. The most appropriate response is to work to destroy the delivery vectors such as military aircraft of all types. This is because it is not possible to destroy the chemical weapons stores without releasing the lethal agents. The best we can hope for as a civilization is hope we disable the Syrian government's ability to deliver any more chemical weapons for a long time.

While this should be a single action not a prolonged engagement, the destruction of the Syrian military air power is not a strong enough message to the world. We must also send the Syrian military a message that they should never again engage in such actions again. This message would come through the destruction of much of the Syrian military radar, command and control systems and as much of their stockpiles of armor as feasible.

We should not view this action as the US engaging in the civil war in Syria because it isn't. It's a police action against a very bad actor that has done a very ad thing. That thing is gassing almost 1500 of their own people. We, the world, cannot let this go unpunished; that should be clear.

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