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Badi Soch: Worsening the chaos in Syria?

The close defeat of the British government’s motion for military action against Syria will, if nothing else, delay any planned attack while Washington responds to vociferous demands for an explanation of its strategy to use force against Syria by its own Congress. Seen in the context of the U.S. President and Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama’s own earlier peace agenda, this is a dismal outcome. By going ahead with a military attack for alleged but yet unproven use of chemical weapons, Obama will be seen as contradicting the lessons learnt from the Iraq debacle and dishonouring the claims he made while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.

Destroying the Syrian government’s military capability through Western missile strikes will inevitably strengthen the position of rebel groups, including those spearheaded by extremist organisations aligned with Al Qaeda and sponsored by Saudi Arabia. U.S. military action in Syria will cause it to once again step into all the fault lines in the region. It will aggravate the chaos in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and instigate unrest in other parts of the region, potentially destabilising the entire region.

These developments will impact emerging economies – especially India – due to the possibility of disruptions in oil supplies that would accompany the turmoil in West Asia. Military intervention and the ensuing enhanced chaos will result in a rise in terrorist activities in the region and perhaps, the West too.

Compiled by: Hari Seshasayee and Karan Pradhan

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