The Syrian civil war has been raging for almost six years now, leaving more than half a million people dead and millions more displaced.
Up to this point, the U.S. policy on Syria has been to monitor the situation but not to intervene. However, calls for U.S. intervention have increased in the last week after armed forces for Syrian president regained full control over Aleppo, the besieged city in Northern Syria near the Turkish border that has been a key to the anti-Assad rebellion. Some argue that the humanitarian crisis has risen to such a level that the U.S. must put its foot down and that despite the blow that fall of Aleppo deals to rebel forces, they won’t simply stop fighting. Others say that it’s too late for the U.S. to do anything at all about the humanitarian crisis emerging and that trying to indirectly intervene with airstrikes could complicate the conflict further and increase pressure for U.S. boots on the ground, which the American public would almost certainly not support.
What does the future of U.S. policy in Syria look like under a President Trump? What have we learned about the efficacy of the Obama Administration’s policy? Should the U.S. intervene in Syria or would that create more problems than it would solve?
Phil Ewing, national security editor, NPR; he tweets @philewing
Jessica Ashooh, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force; she was a senior policy planning analyst in the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a participant in the Geneva II peace talks