We’re getting myopic again – with Syria. A lot of conversation has been focused on Syria and boots on the ground, and its meaning. I choose to believe it’s a code word for a formal occupation and declaration of war. Those sort of boots are unlikely. But more important than that – is while the foreign policy discussion is reacting to events in Syria we’re overlooking Iraq and Afghanistan. Both are still strategic efforts. In Iraq, the ISOF is a lion waiting to be unleashed.
Iraq is part of the Syrian solution. The Kurds to the Northwest and the Iraqi central government and their forces are the strongest force that could be enabled in this fight. The Iraqi Special Operations Forces have found success and serve as the final line of defense in Baghdad. They’ve defeated ISIS on the battlefield and liberated besieged areas. They’re competent, and they’re motivated. Best of all, they’re our friends, and most of them are a lot like you and me. They’re non-sectarian warriors who can make Mesopotamia great again. They’re one of our biggest foreign policy achievements. Because they don’t just work, they win. They’re FID (Foreign Internal Defense) done right.
At this point, what does it harm to pick winners and losers? It’s clear, on the battlefield, the ISOF, and the Kurds get it done. We can show our ability to work with others by teaming up with both the Iraqis and the Kurds to eliminate a common enemy. Restoring camaraderie and good relations between the Kurds and the Iraqi central government. Possibly paving the way for a semi-autonomous Kurdish state that is part of a central government.
Part of what’s being fought for in Syria and serves as an undercurrent is access to the Mediterranean Sea and Lebanon to both Russia and Iran. It is vital for Iran to have a Syrian client state. Iran needs its access to both Lebanon and the Mediterranean sea. Syria evens the playing field in their cold war with Saudi Arabia.
Above all of this is Turkey and the remnant of the Ottoman Empire, which they’d like back. Who doesn’t want power and access to resources? Isn’t that what Pokemon go all about? It’s the undercurrent of life. The path to the altruistic society depicted in Star Trek is rooted in a common peace and pacification of extremism on this planet. We might have to crack some skulls to quell the storm in order to focus on things that matter like Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering. STEM could be an answer in the middle if research facilities were safe enough to employ large sums of people, then grant them access to education. The future will look mighty different.
Featured image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org.