HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-A local international relations expert says the debate over whether or not the U.S. military should intervene in Syria is a decision between bad and worse, and one that could have a significant impact on Americans.
UA-Huntsville professor and foreign policy analyst Dr. Kathy Hawk tells WHNT News 19 there are no good options on the table for the Obama administration, but believes a U.S. missile strike would be better than staying out of the conflict.
However, Hawk said getting involved in Syria could trigger higher gas prices and potential terrorist attacks on American citizens and interests, with a much more serious conflict between Israel and Iran also possible. Iran has threatened to attack the Jewish state if the U.S. launches missiles against Syria, a faceoff that would likely lead to a broader Middle East war.
“It seems like a mess to a lot of people,” said Hawk, who admitted her views on Syria are not in the majority. “Most American people want to stay out of this conflict, and I think the Obama administration does as well, but they’re really caught between several bad decisions. There’s not a good way out of it at this point.”
Despite the risks, Hawk said U.S. military intervention is still preferrable due to the danger of being perceived as weak by foreign powers. President Obama promised to take action last year if chemical weapons were used by the Syrian regime, which did happen last week.
“The fact that the taboo red line has been crossed, and if the U.S. and international community does nothing, that sets a very bad standard.”
White House officials say they have not ruled out acting alone in a military strike on Syria. That scenario appeared more likely on Thursday after the British Parliament voted against an intervention by UK military forces.