Well here we go: the U.S. Navy has just shot down a Syrian fighter over Syria. Via ABC:
The incident occurred in the town of Ja’Din, south of Tabqa, Syria, which had recently been retaken from ISIS by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group of Syrian Kurdish and Arab rebel forces supported by the U.S. in the fight against the militant group.
SDF came under attack from regime forces in favor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad around 4:30 p.m. Syria time. A number of SDF fighters were wounded in the assault, and the SDF soon left Ja’Din.
Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force overhead that stopped the initial pro-regime advance towards the town.
“Following the Pro-Syrian forces attack, the coalition contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established ‘de-confliction line’ to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing,” said a statement from Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS.
“At 6:43 p.m., a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet,” said the statement.
It sure seems like the Defense Department is trying to make this sound like an isolated incident, and promising it’s not something they want to see happen. But it should be pointed out this is the second time this month the U.S. military has engaged Syrian forces, not ISIS. The U.S. shot down a Syrian drone, and destroyed a few armored vehicles, on June 8th when they got a little too close to the U.S.-backed forces. DoD may promise it’s there in Syria to defeat ISIS, but given the fact there have been several clashes between Assad and rebel forces, it’s probably going to end up turning into more of a quagmire.
This obviously goes against the idea President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are bosom buddies, since Assad is pals with Putin and the rebels the U.S.. But it still raises the question as to why America is even involved in this situation to begin with. Why not just let everyone fight each other, then see who emerges the victor? If it’s bad guys fighting bad guys, then why the blue cow does the U.S. need to get involved?
There will obviously be people sitting there saying, “Well, what about the civilians?” but aren’t there international aid organizations who can go in to protect them? It could certainly be argued one reason why Europe is having to deal with so many refugees is because the West decided it had to protect the rebels since Putin was backing Assad. The only question is whether or not that’s actually working as the rebels and Assad seem to be more interested in going after each other, not ISIS. What happens if ISIS is defeated, and will Europe and the U.S. keep supplying rebels with cash and weapons? That civil war isn’t going to be ending any time soon, and could bring the rest of the world into it as well.
That scary theory leads to the question of whether or not this destabilizes the U.S. and Europe even more. Europe’s financial problems are well known, with the Greek bailout and Brexit, but the U.S. isn’t exactly on firm financial footing either. The national debt will probably hit $20T this year, and federal spending keeps rising. Those markers are going to be called in at some point, and the government doesn’t seem to be interested in actually cutting its own budget to save cash. A larger war will only seek to expand the federal government, and will also involve seeing more and more freedoms taken away. The election of Trump was supposed to be a change in foreign policy (not that I believed it because he supported getting into Syria before he was against it before he was for it), but that’s obviously not the case.
When will Americans actually believe it’s time to try something completely different, and not be Team America: World Police? Because the latter sure isn’t working out right now, and never really did. This isn’t fighting a defensive war against an enemy who attacked us. It’s fighting a proactive war against someone who used to be our ally, and probably won’t solve anything, especially if another despot gets in power. You’d think politicians and military commanders would realize this. But you know what they say about people who repeat the same failed strategy over and over while desperately hoping for a different result…