By Ian Marlenee
Syria is currently in the midst of a civil war. The United States government has decided that the Syrian National Coalition, that is, the various groups of protesters and rebels fighting against the Syrian government, are deserving of help in this civil war. We have sent various supplies to the rebels, non-lethal supplies such as body armor, night-vision goggles, and communication equipment. This policy of aiding the rebels is one that I disagree with.
In addition to the fact that this aid is most likely expensive, it is also potentially dangerous, and is not at all supported by the American people. According to Gallup, only 24% of Americans believe the US should attempt military intervention in Syria should the current economic and diplomatic efforts fail, which 58% of Americans believe they will.
The funding of foreign rebels may seem as a safe and cheap alternative to a military invasion, but is a staple of US foreign policy. That being said, this policy has often backfired on the US government. In the 1980s, we decided to fund the Mujahideen in Afghanistan to stop the Soviet invasion. This was a success, the invasion failed. However, the Mujahideen we funded later transformed into the very same Taliban we fought in Afghanistan. Who’s to say the same thing could not happen in Syria? We know almost nothing about these rebels, and have no idea the extent of their motives. The Syrian government currently poses no national security threat to the United States, so there is no reason to support these rebels.
Ian Marlenee, an intern with us, will be a sophomore at Iowa State University this fall. He plans to double major in political science and philosophy.
Tags: Afghanistan, Mujahideen, Syria, Syrian National Coalition, Taliban