Essay on Foreign Policy of a great Power – US Intervention in Syrian Crisis

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Foreign policy of a great power
The foreign policies that are adopted by different nations depend on their economic status as well their military capacity and technology. Great powers of the world have been adopting various foreign policies on the basis of international politics and it has created conflicts and cold wars among them. One such case is the intervention of America in the Civil war in Syria. The war started in 2011 and since then America has been providing support in all the dimensions to the Syrian Army. The main purpose behind the support is that America wants to clear all the terrorists of the ISIL (“Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”) in the regions near Syria and Iraq (Lynch, Freelon, & Aday, 2014).
It was clearly stated in the speech given by the American President, Barack Obama, on September 10, 2014, that they would bring all the terrorist and terrorist groups which have been posing threats to the security and integrity of America. It also gathered support from the other countries like Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey and Jordan and started attacking the terrorist troops of ISIL in Syria (Barany, 2011). There are many factors which on the basis of which such foreign policies were adopted by America for the Syrian War and for the terrorist groups in Syria.
Analysis of the foreign policy
The foreign policy adopted by US was on the basis of their ideology of clearing all the terrorists which were planning to attack America. It involved attacking these terrorists and destroying their training and training centers even if it is in other countries across the globe. This made it necessary for America to assist the Syrian free army to carry operations against the rebels along with the terrorist group who inspired and planned such activities in Syria (Lynch, Freelon, & Aday, 2014). They also tried to have meetings for peace and treaties regarding end of the war with the Al-Nusra front in this area. It provided special military training to the Syrian army and also carried many air strikes on the different centers that they found were belonging to ISIL in Syria. However, inspite of their continuous efforts, they were not able to curb the harmful and dangerous planning and training of the ISIL.
For these reasons, Barack Obama, the President of US decided to have a direct military intervention in Syria (Carpenter, 2013). This was opposed and criticized by the Russian government through their foreign minister Alexander Lukashevich, in 2014. They stated that if US would intervene in Syria without the actual permission of the Syrian government, then it would be violation of the human rights law made in the United Nations. The foreign minister of Russia also demanded that this kind of military intervention had to be passed in the UN Security Council decision by America and then it had the right and power to carry a military intervention in Syria.
Factors affecting the foreign policy
There are various factors which were affecting the foreign policy adopted by US in executing an intervention in the Syrian war as well as destroying the terrorist groups in these regions. These factors are discussed below:
Structural factors
There are many structural factors which are affecting the foreign policies and decisions taken by US regarding the issue of terrorism and civil war in Syria. The pressure on the security and integrity of US was increasing due to the increasing threats that were received from the ISIL group. There have been incidents in America which were due to the outbreak of anger among the ISIL in Syria. The leaders of ISIL were enraged due to the intervention of the US military in their areas and they got pushed by these efforts carried by the US military. Due to this, they had developed an increasing discontent against the US forces and its allies. This was a great threat to the entire structure of US (Hastedt, 2014).
International factors
There were international factors which included getting support from some countries as well as facing opposition from other countries. The intervention of US in Syria was supported by most of the countries in the Middle-East and the other countries of the world. There was a clash of opinions among the two super powers Russia and US. Russia did not approve the act of US to attack and send military to Syria without its prior consent. Due to this, US had to pass their intensions and decisions in UN Security Council where it immediately got permission from them (Hastedt, 2014). This was due to the efforts carried by US and future plans made by them for the clearing of the terrorist groups of ISIL, Al-Qaeda and other such extremely dangerous and inhuman terrorist groups.
Domestic factors
There were many domestic factors which led to the intervention of US in Syria. The economy of US was largely affected by the arms and ammunitions which it provided to Syria. The trained manpower and skill that was available in US was made available for the Syrian forces. The main function involving domestic factor of the foreign policy was the incapability of US to finish off small terrorist forces in Syria which posed a great threat to them. This made US helpless and they came up with different plans for the counter attacking the terrorist groups (Hastedt, 2014).
Examples of efforts carried by America as a superpower in Syria:
America had sent many rounds of airstrikes in Syria and surrounding regions which were believed to be the training centers for the ISIL. America, then got a permission from UN regarding their military intervention in Syria through an article which was passed through the UN Security Council. US was supported by many other countries like Jordan, Turkey and UK. Here was the operation was named as “Inherent Resolve” by the US military forces. There were more than 100 airstrikes carried by the US troops on the regions near Syria and Iraq.
Reflections of the US foreign policy on the issue:
Due to the efforts carried by the US, there were other countries and super powers who came into the scenario and they started sending their troops to attack the training centers and other centers which were inhabited by the ISIL. Russia had a treaty signed with Syria which mentioned that Syria would destroy all of its chemical weapons. After this, US called back its troops and stopped airstrikes on the ISIL region in Syria. This was announced by the President of US, Barack Obama.
There have been instances which led to the development of cold war between Russia and America due to the foreign policy adopted by US to intervene in the Syrian region. This has helped the government of different countries to develop plans for destroying the training camps which were set by the ISIL in Syrian regions (Howell & Pevehouse, 2011). Thus, the foreign policy adopted by the US moved around generating security, integrity, safety and peace in their country which was threatened by the terrorist groups of ISIL, who had several training and living camps established in Syria. UN had to handle the situation by considering the point of view of different super powers who had planned to intervene in the situation existing in Syria.

Barany, Z. (2011). The role of the military. . Journal of Democracy, 22(4), , 24-35.
Carpenter, T. G. (2013). Tangled web: The syrian civil war and its implications. . Mediterranean Quarterly, 24(1), , 1-11.
Hastedt, G. P. (2014). American Foreign Policy: Past, Present, and Future. . Rowman & Littlefield.
Howell, W. G., & Pevehouse, J. C. (2011). While dangers gather: Congressional checks on presidential war powers. Princeton University Press.
Lynch, M., Freelon, D., & Aday, S. (2014). Syria’s socially mediated civil war. . United States Institute Of Peace, 91(1), , 1-35.


Posted on

March 10, 2018

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