The Geopolitical Aftermath Of The Syrian Airstrike
On Friday, the United States led in a coalition airstrike with France and the UK against Syria in response to a ruthless chemical attack on civilians. Unlike Trump’s prior response to the Syrian gas attacks of 2017, which the public was led to believe was certainly conducted by President Assad, Friday’s military action was met with the fervor of certain conservative voices. Before the strike, Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson had feverishly warned President Trump about attacking Syria, citing our uncertainty that the Syrian President was even culpable for the attack. Nevertheless, the American Pentagon along with French sources claim that there is now evidence that the Syrian Government is responsible for conducting the chemical attacks on its own people.
To be clear, this altercation will (likely) not constitute World War III. The US seems to be enjoying the support of international groups such as the United Nations and NATO, making a war with Russia and Syria highly improbable. Lastly, it is imperative, following our raid on Syria, that the United States focuses on mending a broken relationship with Russia, amid the growing tensions.
Many have noted that Russia has responded with the threat of retaliation and that our brash acts of militarism are an unnecessary provocation of war. I agree that the United States must work to reassure Russia that a global-scale war between two behemoths is in nobody’s interest. However, if it is true that French and American intelligence have found proof of Assad’s culpability, the airstrikes were then perceived to be justified and appropriate to many.
The Pentagon announced that the airstrike was successful in hindering the development of the Syrian chemical program, and struck at the very “heart” of its vital infrastructure. Russia and Syria on the other hand, claim that most missiles were “intercepted”. Furthermore, Russia is outspoken in asserting that there is still no evidence that the Syrian Government is behind the attack, despite the “fabrications” of British intelligence.
Russian diplomats to the UN have also drafted a resolution condemning the allied attack on Syria that was promptly rejected by the UN Security Council. Lastly, a senior Russian General has said that the country will consider supplying Syrian forces with new air defense systems, seemingly as a measure of resistance to the United States. The truth is, there is simply too much global support behind the United States for a war to ensue with Russia. And given this universal support, China would sooner raid Syria themselves rather than risk a blow to their global trade empire.
None of this means that the President of the United States should not be working tirelessly to offer an olive branch to Russia. Altercations beyond this point will be unnecessary as long as stability remains. Trump’s tough rhetoric has had its course, and it is time we switched toward a more diplomatic approach.
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