The message of the very measured strikes on Syrian chemical weapons sites in response to Syria’s chemical attack last week, is that the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and France do not want to get further involved in the Syrian conflict.
As the New York Times writes, “The proportional response was evidently calculated to keep Syria’s patrons, Russia and Iran, from retaliating.”
These were not military but political strikes for domestic purposes in the US, UK and France.
President Trump’s uncontrolled and bragging tweets earlier this week, about imminent attacks and his ‘encouragement’ for Russia to ‘get ready’ impacted on the courses of action open to the US, UK and France. A strike to ‘protect’ the already weakened US president – whatever the effects in Syria – was now unavoidable.
However, the lack of persuasion behind these strikes is however evident: Through these attacks, not the resolve of the US, UK, and France to find a solution for the Syrian war is communicated, but above all the lack of it.
In Syria, the killing will continue – with or without chemical weapons – and tensions will further rise.
The point is, whatever the size of strikes and their so-called strategic objectives, at this stage, attacks do not – and cannot – contribute to a solution for the Syrian war: The war in Syria is not about Syria anymore, but has become another issue of global dimensions.
Because all issues are increasingly connected, they require a global approach to be solved. The Security Council of the United Nations is supposed to be the institution to manage and solve these problems.
However, the United Nations has become part of the problem: The current order and its institutions are obsolete. The United Nations order is first of all designed to safeguard and promote the interests of its permanent members (the US, Russia, China, the UK and France), and not to fundamentally change the status quo.
To be continued.