Backing off military action good decision [UPDATED]Published 10:06am Wednesday, September 11, 2013 Updated 12:07pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013
President Barack Obama announced to the nation Tuesday that the U.S. military would ease pressure on Syria, and violence would no longer be an immediate threat, boots on the ground or not. Instead, diplomacy would move to the forefront in an effort to minimize the threat of chemical weapons in Syria. Chemical weapons threats or not, taking military action on Syria would not have been an effective move for the U.S., and it was a good decision by the president to back off.
After weeks of discussion on military action in Syria and a borderline overly-transparent explanation of what that would include, an attack would likely not result in any progress to end long-term violence. It is part of our democratic system for the government to provide transparency to citizens in most cases, but this also provides potential enemies with the same information. U.S. citizens don’t like the threat of a long-term military presence in Syria with “boots on the ground,” but neither does Syria. Without the looming threat of more to come from the U.S. military, Syria wouldn’t have much to be concerned about beyond a few short-lived strikes.
While it is important to give the president the responsibility to act without further approval when national security faces an immediate threat, this was not one of those situations. Obama received more opposition than support for a strategic, limited strike on Syria, and for that reason, it only makes sense that the U.S. would take a step back from an aggressive strike. Everyone can agree that chemical weapons are bad; however, there are a lot of weapons around the world that can create just as much destruction and generate just as many casualties in the hands of people who aren’t afraid to use them. The fact that the weapons used in Syria fall under the “chemical” category should not be reason enough for the U.S. to take military action, and the majority of citizens and members of congress agree.
While Obama promised to keep the military ready to go if talks fail, it was a good decision to hold off on an offensive strike. The president has access to more information that the general public when it comes to matters of threats to the security of the country, so it is important to seriously consider any suggestions that come from the White House; however, in this case, an overwhelming opposition to more military action overseas should be enough to keep boots and bombs off the ground unless something goes seriously wrong.