Monday, April 22, 2013

Deadly Diffusion: Syrian Conflict Spilling in to Lebanon. By Casey Lillis

As the current situation in Syria continues to escalate and complicate, United States aid has increased to $123 Billion in nonlethal aid. The Obama administration still continues to reject rebel forces request for arms. On Monday Human Rights Watch disclosed information to the public that both Syrian Government and rebel forces of taking their war across the border and attacking villages in Lebanon, the targets all seemed to be nonmilitary making these strikes look like irrational acts of terror instead of strategic military strikes, which “were indiscriminate and therefore violate the laws of war(Mourtada).” By taking this war to another country it points the diffusion effect and how conflict can be carried over in to surrounding regions. On April 20th rebels groups called to “transfer the battle of blood into the heart of Lebanon(Mourtada),” as they believe Hezbollah fighters are being sent over to combat them on their home soil in Syria, specifically in the city of Qusayr.
These current developments should be of major concern to the international community as it continues to spread violence throughout the NEMA region, continuing to involve more foreign governments, rebel forces, and terrorist organizations which is only complicating a future resolution while escalating the present situation. As rebels still lack a unified command it is difficult for the U.S. to assess the situation and their needs. With lethal aid not an option the U.S. is considering, its enormous amount of nonlethal aid and supplies points to their effort to combat Russian and Iraqi support for the Assad regime.
Based on Goodwin’s theory, revolutions occur as a direct response to political repression and violence in a repressive and weak state, therefore the U.S. must use military power to quickly squash this weak government, as unlike our previous conflicts in the region the U.S. would have a large-scale support base in the Syrian population.
Based on the diffusion theory and the many external and internal factors and groups this conflict seems to only be escalating. Policy makers must start to consider sending arms and lethal aid to the opposition forces as nonlethal aid does not seem to be making as big of an impact as desired. Now that this conflict has crossed in to another state the U.N. needs to play a larger role to protect civilians that are being targeted as well as facilitate talks strategies to calm this situation.

Mourtada, Hania. "Syrian War Spilling Into Lebanon, Rights Group Says." New York Time 22 April 2013, n. pag. Web. 22 Apr. 2013. <>.


  1. Although it seems like their may be support for a U.S.-led military intervention on the ground in Syria, this does not provide sufficient justification for a military intervention in Syria.

    Consider, for example, the 2003 invasion of Iraq. There was significant Iraqi support for Operation Iraqi Freedom early on in the war, but many American government officials realized the difficulties of rebuilding the foundations of a democratic government from scratch. As time went on, many Iraqis grew tired of what they perceived to be a lack of security and development.

    I do not want to get into an argument over the invasion of Iraq per se, but I do think that the American experience there–regardless of one's personal views–shows that "state building" is messy. If the United States were to intervene in Syria, it would need to assume responsibility for rebuilding the state's institutions–a responsibility that could prove to be very costly.

  2. The situation in Syria is of high interest to the International community, similar to the entire MENA region. I do agree that some type of intervention would alleviate the mess going on in Syria, especially with rebel forces moving through country boarders, but I don't believe moving armed U.S forces in is the proper response. Situations (most) have to get worse before they can get better and seek improvement. The international community should keep close attention but sending troops in will produce an outcome that is even more detrimental to the region and to outsiders. More institutions should be established in Syria to organize the country and to try and begin to compromise with opposing forces.

  3. I agree with both of these comments. War is messy and civil war is messier. While it is troubling that Syrian attacks are being carried out in Lebannon, I am not sure that even warrants international intervention.

    I a read reports today that Israel is claiming that the Syrian Army has been using leathal chemical weapons against the armed rebel groups. If this claim turns out to me be true, this could prompt US intervention against a state for using chemical weapons on its people. While it would be horrible if Syria is using chemical weapons against its people, many are now claiming that the conflict in Syria is now a civil war. Therefore, the rebel groups are classified as armed combatants fighting against the state instead of general members of the population fighting agianst the state.

    My question is, does international intervention based on chemical weapon use still hold during civil war?