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Syria and Iran

The Big Picture

Recent U.S. military intervention in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan has produced little or no success. The many anti-Quaddafy groups in Libya cannot cooperate with each other so no viable government exists. Rival militias fight one another for power so the possibility of a new civil war grows stronger each day. Many believe a Sunni ruling group in Syria would be just as repressive as the Assad regime. In the same manner Syrian opposition groups are unable to form any united anti-Assad front. Violence grows in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The governments in these two countries show there are no white knights to support. The West is using diplomatic and economic pressures on Iran, so resorting to military force would be counterproductive. We do not know if Iran has begun to develop nuclear weapons. Internal and external pressures to use military forces may have lessened somewhat. Russia and China support the present regimes in Syria and Iran. ADA supports President Obama’s use of economic sanctions and diplomacy rather than military action to resolve the situations in these two countries.

We can afford to wage wars, but we cannot afford to rebuild our infrastructure, feed our poor, and educate our people. We must return to investing in America and its people. Syria and Iran provide an excellent opportunity to terminate the cycle of perpetual warfare. The Afghan war has lasted longer than WW II. The U.S. has paid too great a cost in blood and treasure to pursue these senseless wars.

Key Points

The U.S. has had little or no success with military interventions in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. Violence has increased in Afghanistan. There has been an alarming increase in the number of attacks by Afghan soldiers and police officers on their American and allied counterparts. In Libya, the U.S. intervention cost over a billion dollars and the flow of ex-Quaddafi government weapons to the North African branch of Al-Quaeda made possible their conquest of the northern half of Mali.

The cost of additional military intervention would be extreme, especially at a time when Washington politicians refuse to invest in our own nation’s infrastructure and domestic programs. By the end of 2008, the U.S. had spent approximately $900 billion on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This figure does not include interest on borrowed money, and Veteran costs for those wounded, which will continue to grow. In 2011, the U.S. spent approximately 20% of our federal budget on defense and international security assistance, and only 2% on education. Becoming involved with Syria and/or Iran only alienates our national priorities further.