I have stated on Twitter after the first videos of the impact of Chemical Weapons were posted on the Internet, that military intervention would be the best way to stop the madness in Syria. However, to my surprise, public opinion internationally and within the US seems to be against it. This is despite the fact that use of Chemical/Biological/Nuclear weapons is a clear red line.
While the US being war-weary is understandable, I see the US not intervening in Syria as an abdication of its duty as the sole superpower of the world. Obama is unable to generate a consensus internationally or domestically for a military intervention. Doubts are being raised whether the intelligence inputs available with the US etc were authentic and credible. Also in doubt was whether a military intervention will ensure no further use of chemical weapons.
In the recent past, all US military interventions have borne fruit. Osama was killed and Saddam Hussain and Gaddafi were overthrown. There were costs for the US, but the outcomes justify them.
I therefore see delay in the US intervention in Syria a sign of decline of a superpower. Clearly,
1. America’s international influence is at a new low, which explains its inability to engender international consensus.
2. It is unable to convince the world that an effective military intervention in Syria can be made that will ensure no further use of Chemical Weapons.
3. It’s ability to gather convincing evidence through effective intel operations has declined.
4. It’s economy is not strong enough to support even a limited war.
The US is becoming more like any other country in the world, that opines from an armchair keeping a safe distance from the trouble-spot.
The learning is, if a mad dictator nukes his own populace or a neighbouring country in the near future, the chances are – there will be no world power out there with the guts and gumption to intervene. That’s the world we live in today.