UTEP Professor and community members respond to possible action in Syria

MGN Online
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 6:11pm

The debate in Congress continues about whether to take action in Syria, after President Obama said he has proof the Assad regime used chemical weapons on it's own people.

Congress is considering a resolution that would allow 60 days of air strikes, with the President allowed to extend it 30 more days and ground troops are not allowed.
What are the factors they should consider and what is the President's goal?

The debate in Congress mirrors the passion Americans are feeling.

"I don't believe along with most Americans that we are the policemen of the world," said Central El Pasoan Ceci Olivas.

"We're not prepared now and were going into an emotional decision that based on what sources say that it is him," said West El Pasoan, Bryan Haddad.

People from El Paso sounded off in a town hall meeting yesterday after Congressman Beto O'Rourke asked for their opinions.
Questions loom heavily about what congress and the President hope to achieve if the United States intervenes

"The question is, does the United Atates have the objective and political will to pursue that and I think there are questions about the Free Syrian Army," said UTEP Associate Professor of Security Studies.  "Who are they? What happens to Syria after we do topple the regime. If that is our ultimate objective".

Dr. Valero says looking at history can be helpful.

"Every conflict is different of course and of course," he said.  "I think there's a sort of natural sort of desire to look at previous conflicts say in Kosovo or oOperation Desert Fox against Iraq".

But the U.S. must ask what's different about this situation and what's changed.

"The fact is is since the first Gulf War Operation Desert Storm, we've had a revolution in the precision that has really put air power in a new light in terms of its ability to bring power to bare on our adversaries".

It's a heavy decision that no matter the action has already resulted in heavy lids and heavy hearts.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee today approved the use of force.

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