It looks like America is once again going to be waging war. This should not come as much of a surprise, seeing as how the U.S. is known for getting its hands dirty in the soil of other countries. The Iraq war was the latest of blemishes to be self-imposed upon the reputation of the United States. In fact, many of the U.S./CIA operations that were carried out in the last few decades have been leaked and now have people questioning the decisions made by the U.S. government. Nevertheless, the U.S., along with France and the UK, are strongly urging punishment for the alleged illegal chemical warfare that they believe has taken place in Syria just days before, killing hundreds of Syrians — many of them children.
AP recently reported that due to the UN’s division on the issue, the U.S., Britain and France will try to go around the international committee in order to give Syrian Rebels support in their civil war. Because China and Russia continue to use their vetoing power to suppress any response to the Syrian conflict that has already lasted over 2 years, these three countries and their leaders are contemplating action that would sidestep the UN’s procedures.
The task would require achieving support of key international organizations that work outside of the United Nations. One option would be to persuade NATO to get involved — possibly leading to military action.
Ken Pollack, an expert on Middle Eastern military/political affairs told AP that, “Very famously, the Kosovo war was not a legal. Yet… you don’t have people running around screaming that the Kosovo war was illegal. That is because the U.S. did a good job building a case for it.”
In other words, although technically the U.S. should go through the UN before making any decisions regarding its involvement in Syria, there are other means to the same end. The U.S.-led coalition is certain to adduce the international doctrine: Responsibility to Protect — which states that the international community is obligated to prevent crimes on humanity on an international level.
Stephen Biddle, an expert on foreign policy and U.S. Military at George Washington University, notes that the doctrine is often perceived to supersede the need to respect a country’s sovereignty. "The two natural avenues are NATO and the doctrine of responsibility to protect," Biddle tells AP.
Whichever way you look at it, it’s clear that the U.S. wants to get involved in Syria. The question is: why? The game that is politics has never been my forte — yet logic has to play some sort of role in the decision-making, so I’d be happy to take a stab at it, at the very least presenting a few options. Let’s start with the reason most popular among the masses: money. Now, it’s important to remember that in order to make money, you have to bring in more than you spend — as would any other business.
So, the U.S. would have to make more money off the war than they would have to spend fighting it. The cost of the Iraq war is nearing the $1 trillion mark. Yes, a whole lot of taxpayer money went into that war. On a side note, imagine a world where human beings would stop killing each other and, instead of spending the money on wars, spend it on food and clean water for those in need…
So, in order for the math to make sense, America would need to make well over $1 Trillion in profit from the war. The best way for a country to make money off a war directly is by selling weapons and equipment to the side it supports. A more indirect way would be to allow companies to provide support services, such as feeding the troops, working on buildings’ infrastructures, providing private security… These companies would get paid handsomely for their work (many times more handsomely than they deserve). After that, the money somehow would have to trickle down back to the government — but, unfortunately, I can only guess how. Maybe the companies simply support the government by returning the money in form of a “donation.”
Let’s take an example from the Iraq and Afghan wars, which allocated some $138 billion of U.S. taxpayer money to such companies, according to International Business Times. The number one recipient of such governmental contracts is KBR, Inc., a Houston-based engineering and construction firm focusing on energy — a firm that is the sister company of Halliburton Co.. The company received $39.5 billion in Iraq-related contracts — including a good amount of deals done without competing bids. Who was the CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000 and was later our country’s VP? Dick Cheney. I think you get the picture.
The only problem lies in whether or not enough money would be made off the war to cover the hundreds of billions of dollars that would simultaneously be spent on it. Another possible reason for deciding to be in charge of thwarting all evil, a role the U.S. has chosen to take on, is for reputation. A reputation of a country and the power they possess — or are believed to possess — is of course of the highest importance on such global chessboards. The most common belief is that a country like the U.S. (and, in this situation, Britain and France) is after two things and two things only: money and power.
This may very well be true; however, it is also a possibility that the U.S.-led coalition is actually doing its best to make the world a better place. Sure, maybe a bit of a stretch…but, if you were to throw in money and/or power into the equation in addition, then there’s no reason not to make the world a better place.
Why not do that while making money and holding on to your reputation? Making money, gaining power and emphasizing one’s reputation, while projecting an image of saintliness is a great game plan. Unfortunately, the line between moral and immoral tends to get blurred the deeper you get into politics. Again, I was never a big fan of it all, but I would like to think that behaving in a benevolent and caring manner is quickly becoming more important in our eyes — the people’s eyes.
We are beginning to judge a country — whether our own or other — by the actions their governmental leaders take. We are beginning to expect a certain level of, for lack of a better word, lovingness for the world and for humanity from our leaders — genuine care. We must consider the fact that as the middle class grows in size and wealth, so will the upper class. Sooner than later — unless suppressed — the citizens of the U.S., for example, will be holding a significant amount of power (a.k.a. money) that they could use in opposition to the government.
Sure, as the citizens get wealthier, so does the body governing them. However, this is not a size contest; rebellion propaganda does not take that much money to distribute. Governments will eventually have to genuinely have the peoples’ — all peoples’ — best interests at heart. Or… my thinking may be too utopian and politics will always be a hit below the belt.
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