Monday, March 12, 2012

Scores reported killed in two Syrian cities

New York Times

March marks the one year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown. However, March also marks the one year anniversary of the Syrian crisis. As the Arab Spring spread, Syrian rebels protested President Assad. Much like the Libyan protestors, the rebels were attacked by government forces. Unlike Libya, Syrian rebel forces have not been supported by NATO or US forces while Assad's regime is being supported by Russia, China and Iran.

According to The United Nations says at least 7,500 people have died so far in the crackdown. In comparison, the Department of Defense has identified 1,892 American service members who have died as a part of the Afghan war and related operations. According to Global Security, 4,282 Americans have died in Iraq operations. Both of the figures for US military deaths are for the entire duration, meaning in one year there have been more deaths in Syria than the US military has faced in both Iraq and Afghanistan combined!

The killings of 16 Afghani civilians by a rogue US soldier means the Pentagon and State Department will have to plan some type of withdrawal from Afghanistan and still be in a position to support actions in Syria. Outrage by Afghanis and Al Qaeda may increase the likelihood of an attack against US forces either overseas or even here in the US. The Presidential elections will also complicate matters as the current administration will not want to appear weak. Depending on which GOP candidate gets the nomination, he will be able to snipe President Obama on everything from national security to high gas prices.

The Syrian crisis needs to be brought to an end, however there is no easy way to accomplish this without involving the US in additional hostilities.

Al Jazeera

Interactive Map of Syria

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