In the aftermath of September 2001, the United States launched a decade-long attack against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and a full scale attack against terrorism in the Middle East. However, despite a strict military victory, the United States successfully strengthened anti-western fervor in a search for justice.
There is a reason why extremist Muslim groups come almost entirely out of the Middle East and not countries like Indonesia or India. Populations have been forced to choose between oppressive regimes or extremist Islamic groups because of U.S. airstrikes. The idea of civil society has been dismantled by the U.S. rather than by terrorist organizations, and all that remains is chaos.
These labors are now coming to fruition. A combination of civil wars and political unrest in the Middle East have created a power vacuum for extremists to occupy countries with terrorism and hatred. Syrians are facing a civil war against a government who has committed war crimes on its own people, bombed its own territory, and allowed ISIS to control people’s lives.
Is Obama’s recent announcement to accept more Syrian refugees an attempt to begin assuming partial responsibility for the Middle East? Although attempting to accept more Syrians is admirable considering the ongoing debate about immigration policies, it does not actually accomplish anything.
Accepting more refugees from Syria is not a sustainable solution to this conflict. Domestic partisan debate stands in the way of coming to a concise solution to immigration from Mexico, yet the federal government hopes to successfully oversee the proper movement and transition of thousands of refugees.
Shipping foreigners more than 5,500 miles out of the conflict does not prevent horror from continuing to travel outside of the borders of Syria. Unless the U.S. intends to accept hundreds of thousands of refugees, any decisions made are purely political rhetoric, and extremists will continue to thrive in war-torn countries.
The United States is frozen in place, trying to not repeat their mistakes by simply not acting. It claims that it is supporting “moderate” rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad, launching air attacks, and forming an anti- ISIS coalition. Despite this, the west is losing progress on the Syrian civil war and failing to defend against modern terrorism in the form of Daesh. It was the United States that laid the foundation for Daesh to grow, and other extremists around the world to identify under the icon of ISIS. Now is the time for the U.S. to compromise and find a global solution to a global problem.
All major powers are capable of collaborating in the UN towards a solution that protects everyone’s interests. Time has run out for diplomacy to end the Syrian civil war. Multilateral military action is quickly approaching, and the only way for the U.S. to preserve its foreign interests is to cooperate with the rest of the world to further stabilize the region.