It has been over six years since the beginning of the revolution in Syria. The civil war that commenced in March 2011 has evolved to a full-blown humanitarian crisis. In 2015, it was estimated that 6.6 million civilians were internally displaced, not including those who fled the nation or fell victim to the war. The humanitarian impacts, including civilian torture, displacement and governmental war crimes, are appalling. Even more, no person on either side of the war appears to be waving a white flag anytime soon.
In situations as crucial as these, we are urged to act fast. The U.S. has a long history of military and political intervention in global matters, but it has not always been highly supported. In this way, we are urged to consider whether the conflicts taking place on the international map are in need of foreign aid — and at what point we are given the “OK” to intervene. Is there a certain time or condition in which American intervention is appropriate? Oftentimes, American intervention coupled with Western ideals is not warmly welcomed, especially in the Middle East. However, in such dire times of life or death, any outside action is good action.
With the increasing desire of national isolation within the government today, we should start to consider the possible global impacts in relation to foreign affairs.
It is often debated that President Donald Trump supports globalization over globalism, but his recent decisions challenge those previous conceptions. Our president is his own worst enemy, a contradiction of his own creation. He has consistently encouraged an “America first” policy and promoted American manufactured goods and services. The man who advocates an American upper hand in global politics is the same man who will neglect global humanitarianism in order to fulfill his sacred “America first” agenda. It is very possible that an extreme withdrawal of American allies on foreign lands during wartime may occur. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time we have witnessed Trump default on his former promises.
What our current president fails to understand, however, is that American intervention in global conflict is not self-sacrificial. It is neither a poor use of our military budget nor an ineffective use of time. American presence on international territory is completely necessary to achieve eventual peace. It is a key aspect in the fight over terrorist rule and freedom for global citizens. If Trump decides to remove troops in these areas, we are relinquishing our power to help others.
I have not always condoned American intervention in the past. It is clearly a sensitive issue in the matter of foreign politics and a decision to be made with discretion. There are certain points during global conflicts in which intervention is necessary. The crisis in Syria has now reached that point. We can even say it is a point of no return — a plateau wherein the war exhibits no sign of an end. In this state, it is no longer a debate. The continued foreign intervention in Syria is a global obligation. If Trump cannot recognize that necessity, he will not do well to preserve the agenda of foreign affairs from his seat in the Oval Office.