Via the National Economics Editorial.
Although hawkish neocons like Ben Shapiro are rejoicing that President Trump launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airstrip, I’m not.
Let’s be honest: the attack was a total waste of money, and frankly, we’re fighting the wrong guys.
As bad as Assad is, he’s a hell of a lot better than his “replacements”.
Here’s why firing Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria was, and is, a bad idea:
1. Missiles Are Expensive, Tarmac Is Cheap
Tomahawk cruise missiles cost $1 million a piece.
Not only that, but the newer models that will replace them cost up to $1.5 million per unit.
This means that we wasted $60-90 million on the attack—not including the associated costs, like deploying warships in the Mediterranean.
And what did we use them to break? Tarmac.
Here’s the deal: Syria is war-zone, and Assad’s government is essentially a police state. Replacing a runway will cost Assad next to nothing, assuming he even pays people to fix it—it’s not like Syria has a shortage unemployed people, gravel, or tar, after all.
2. The Attack Was Pointless
According to the Daily Mail, Syrian jet fighters took off from the allegedly bombed-out runway without issue.
If the goal was deny Assad the tactical advantage of the airbase, then the attack was a failure.
Beyond that, Trump has burned valuable political capital with his supporters, who are divided over his actions—many, if not most Americans want an end to America’s involvement abroad (including spending on foreign aid and the UN), and for them, this is a step in the wrong direction.
3. Assad Is Fighting ISIS & Al-Qaeda For Us
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Assad, and I don’t think he’s our friend.
But he’s a hell of a lot more reasonable than the “moderate rebels” who want to replace him, who are backed by Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Saudi Arabians.
The below clip is only a minute long watch it. In it, Assad shares his thoughts on the European migrant crisis.
Now compare that to this clip of ISIS doing ISIS things (like beheading Christians and smashing Roman artifacts):
Who do you think is more reasonable?
As you can see in the below map, Assad’s regime is directly in conflict with ISIS over major swaths of territory—he’s killing them for us.
Why are we interfering?
4. More War Means More Migrants
Life under the Assad regime wasn’t great. But it was tolerable.
In fact, before the civil war, Syrians enjoyed higher standards of living than did their Muslim cousins in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, or Iraq.
Since Syria disintegrated, millions of Syrians have lost everything, and the chaos is spreading throughout the Middle East and Europe.
The entire region is destabilized, which is causing hoards of migrants to flood into Europe.
If we want to solve the migrant crisis in Europe, we need to stem the flow if migrants from the Islamic world—letting Assad regain control will help do that.
5. Don’t Poke The Bear
I do not want war with Russia. Neither do you.
Why? Because Russia is a nuclear superpower that could turn America into glass.
No matter how improbable nuclear war with Russia is, we should nevertheless take caution to avoid situations that could escalate, because the potential consequences are ruinous.
Syria is just not that important to us: it has never been in our ambit, nor is there any reason for it to be.
On the other side, however, Syria is a longstanding Russian ally, and it is home to Russia’s only navy beyond Russia proper.
Our intervening in Syria is akin to how Russia acted during the Cuban missile crisis, except with live-fire.
Why risk it?
6. Regime Change Doesn’t Work
Rex Tillerson said that there was “no role for Assad” in the future of Syria, hinting at the potential for another US-led regime-change.
This is an about-face from what Trump campaigned on, and his rhetoric up until now.
Not only is toppling Assad a bad idea, since it would destabilize the region and open up a vacuum that ISIS, and its affiliates, would happily fill, but it would be expensive.
Remember the Iraq War? It cost America $2 trillion and left thousands of American troops dead and wounded—for what? So that ISIS could kill every single Assyrian Christian they could find?
Regime-change failed in Iraq. It failed in Libya. And it will fail in Syria.
America Should Stay Out Of Syria & Let Assad Kill ISIS
Whatever you think of Assad, we can all agree that he’s better than ISIS.
We should let him kill them for us, rather than risking our own soldiers, and spending our own treasure.
We have enough problems at home to deal with, we don’t need another foreign excursion to divert our attention.