Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Bad News

Today, the news broke of three British soldiers who had been killed in Afghanistan. For many, it was quite a shock to see that lives were still being lost in a place that is meant to be stabilising, and a place where we are slowly moving out. This is not meant to happen now.

Yet, the fact is that the war in Afghanistan is still going on, and instability is still the order of the day. British soldiers, along with other NATO forces, are in the process of pulling out, but their war is simply being taken over by the now strong enough local forces. These are just three more deaths in what has been decades of instability for the country.

This is a conflict that has brought fear to the western politicians, as a sense of realisation seizes them that, despite our military power and advanced technology, even we cannot bring stability to regions where instability reigns. The power of the west can, perhaps, make things a bit better, but it is far from the salvation that the some places within the Middle East need.

This is why we have such a mess in Syria, since controversial wars like Afghanistan have taught us that peace rarely falls upon us rapidly when the conflict is much deeper than people firing at each other. When there is such ingrained division is society, it is very hard for anything or anyone to be able to overcome that. Nobody wants to enter into a long morally questionable war against foes that they don't truly understand.

The situation is made worse by the fact that even the rebels in Syria are divided, with the war being a chaotic mess that is only costing more lives everyday. If we in the west think it is a bright idea to go in all guns blazing, then nobody knows what will be left when the smoke clears.

Then again, the situation is not going to get better anytime soon anyway, and, just like Afghanistan would have stayed in its Islamist militant run state if their had been no intervention, Syria is likely to stay in a stalemate of civil war if we do not do anything.

So, with 1,000s dying all the time in Syria, we have to really question whether or not there is any options that will not leave us with a stain on our conscience, and another land where the end of hostilities is something that our generation might not even see. To be honest, there doesn't' seem much we can do.

It seems that hoping and praying for a solution is what is necessary, while military action still is seemingly morally questionable. However, we must remember that we must learn from the mistakes if our past, but not be afraid of them. If Syria reaches a point where military action is necessary, and the so-called red lines are crossed, it may be that action is necessary

This is something we may have to accept, and may mean we enter into a war where more of our young men die, which is why it must be considered carefully, but neglecting our duty to our fellow man is not an option that can ever be justified. For the moment, all we can do is wait, but the situation might change any day, and we must brace ourselves for that possibility.

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