Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Latest in Apples and Oranges: Iraq vs. Syria

As we await the Canadian government's announcement about a potential commitment of CF-18s and participating in airstrikes, I am most curious about the scope of the effort--will the mission be restricted to Iraqi airspace and targets as is the case for the Europeans or will the Canadians join the Americans and Arab countries in striking in Syria.

What is the difference?
  • No UN mandate, but Iraq has asked for help, so no need for one there.  Syria has not asked for help.  Which leads to the next difference.
  • Dropping bombs in Syria means complicity with Assad.  This may be a bridge too far for many democracies. Being kind of complicit with Iran by helping the Shia-dominated government of Iraq may be ok-ish.
  • Syria is riskier because there are anti-aircraft defenses still intact.  Thus far, Assad has not turned them on, but that could change in the flick of a switch.
  • We probably have less good intel in Syria so bombing may produce more civilian casualties there, so again riskier.
  • For the British, they had a failed vote on Syria last year, so Cameron did not want to revisit it.
 What am I forgetting?

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