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posted: 9/9/2013 5:00 AM

We can't afford to be world's police

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As one who is ex-military and usually hawkish, I oppose any commitment of American blood or treasure toward the Syrian civil war. Nothing I've yet read or heard leads me to believe that U.S. interests would be served by our involvement.

If we are to learn from history, we might look to the parallels between the conflict in Iraq and the one in Syria. In Iraq, we had a brutal dictator who did bad things to his people. The U.S. stepped in, deposed the dictator, experienced thousands of U.S. casualties, spent billions, and ended up with a mess and the enmity of the people in the region. Currently, Syria has a brutal dictator who is doing bad things to his people. Many in our nation are poised to have the U.S. jump in with some form of military intervention.

Intervention is easy; the after-event extrication is where the difficulty comes in. The U.S. continues to lose blood and treasure in Iraq (and Afghanistan) more than a decade later. Syria cannot be allowed to become the next Iraq.

If the case for U.S. intervention in Syria is based upon humanitarianism, that is fine. However belated this interest may be (after 100,000 Syrians have already died), we simply must not act on that concern this time around. Our nation is already broke and cannot afford to be the world's police force and social worker by taking on yet another charity case.

Our military assets are stretched too thin; and our people are dispirited, battle-fatigued, and being bled to death financially by our government -- thereby clouding the nation's future. It makes no sense for our country to become embroiled in the Syrian conflict. This time, let's leave that to other countries within the region, or to international tribunals.

Charles F. Falk


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