The article An Army to Defeat Assad: How to Turn Syria’s Opposition Into a Real Fighting Force authored by Kenneth M. Pollack talks about the difficulty in decision making on whether the United States should improve their intervention in Syria or not. There are many arguments that support and oppose the United States intervention in Syria. The rationale of US intervention is based on the humanitarian crisis that has been experienced due to the massive loss of lives in Syria and other neighboring states. However, those opposing the intervention believe that such an intervention may have adverse economic impacts on the economy of the United States that has not fully recovered from the global financial crisis. Furthermore, the people opposing state that Syria does not hold a strategic role in the development of the US. This is because it is not a major trading partner and does not have oil reserves.
The article is well thought out as it provides an objective analysis of the reasons why or why not the US should not increase intervention in Syria. The author talks about four criteria that must be fulfilled for the US to step up intervention in Syria. The criteria include: the strategy should not require the US to send troops into combat, the proposal should provide a formula for defeating radical Islamists and the Assad regime, the strategy should provide necessary hope for the creation of a stable state, and finally, the strategy should have a reasonable chance of achieving the objective for which it was set for. These four criteria form the basis of the article as the author asserts that every strategy that has been developed so far has not meet all the above criteria.
According to Pollack, it is not a must for the US army to send its troops to Syria in stepping up its intervention. The US can create a new Syrian army from which it can use to defeat the Assad regime. This is a break from the past interventions in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq where the US sent its troops and had to pay heavily due to the loss of lives of the troops. The long-term conventional training of the Syrian troops would ensure that the troops integrate themselves well into the military doctrine and accept its culture. Pollack states well that it is important for proper vetting to be done to ensure that the military is not invaded by other extremists. Peace can be sustained if the US together with the international community take a keen role in rebuilding Syria. Pollack correctly states that the Syrian case should be considered in isolation and past successes or failures in other interventions should not be looked at.
I find the article interesting to read as the author has used simple language that is easy to comprehend and understand. The author is very believable as he is objective in his analysis. This article can provide crucial insights to security advisers on what should be done to ensure that the US and the entire world gets success out of the Syrian crisis. The author draws a lot of lessons from the past interventions and highlights why the US needs to take a balanced approach so that it can receive support from the international community.