Just how dangerous is the Syria crisis to those of us in the outside world? For Trouw of the Netherlands, former U.N. envoy to Darfur Jan Pronk warns all parties involved in the burgeoning crisis that unless the key international players, i.e.: the U.S. and Russia, start marching hand-in-hand toward a peaceful settlement, the entire Middle East will likely become actively ensnared in the resulting war, which will have in his words, ‘potential consequences for world peace, especially with America, Russia and China confronting one another in other parts of the world as well.”
Anyone who thinks that a foreign military intervention in Syria may offer a solution is mistaken. Syria is too big, the army too strong and the rebels and militias too numerous. An intervention would increase the violence, as intervention troops would themselves become party to the conflict. Besides, there will no U.N. intervention: Russia and China will exercise their veto in the Security Council.
The U.S. and Russia will have to come together instead of criticizing each other and working at cross-purposes. And they will have to involve other countries, including those they fear would become too powerful in the process.
Every country in the region has different interests: Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf States. Those interests are partly ethnic and religious, partly economic and partly geopolitical. The result is that the Syria conflict is being nourished by interference and a supply of weapons from abroad. All those countries will have to be convinced by America, Russia and China, to put aside their short-term interests in favor of a common strategy.
That is in everyone’s interest, because if the conflict in Syria rages on, the Middle East as a whole will be threatened with destabilization, with potential consequences for world peace. That is what is now at stake, especially with America, Russia and China confronting one another in other parts of the world as well.
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