05 August 2012

"Lightly Arming" Syrian Opposition - Good Idea?

Doctrine Man thinks this is shades of Afghanistan in the '80s. I think the suggestion that we "lightly arm" the Syrian Opposition shows that we're just trying too hard to hedge our bets: if it goes well then we can claim we 'helped' and if it goes to shit someone unfriendly to the US takes over then we can claim 'we really didn't do much'. The problem is that if it's true in one direction, it's true in the other, and if the opposition wins, they can claim 'we really didn't do much' and that's not going to do much for US foreign policy.

Arming the Syrian opposition is a better option. The Assad regime has shown no hesitation in using artillery and armor against the Syrian people. Equipping Syrian rebels with light anti-tank weapons such as RPG-7s will allow them to combat the regime’s T-55 and T-72 tanks. RPG-7s and lighter anti-tank weaponry are not capable of penetrating U.S. M1 Abrams tanks.

The Middle East is already awash in such weaponry so America wouldn’t be introducing anything new. Getting them quickly and directly into the hands of Syrian resistance fighters will bring the timely turning point needed to end the violence. Keeping an eye on the future after the Assad regime falls, America should stop short of providing small-arms weaponry, such as machine guns which may be used in the turmoil after the regime falls.

By: Brant

No comments: