France cannot afford military operation in Syria
The G20 should be focusing on their flagging economies rather than planning a military operation in Syria they can’t afford, analyst, Alex Korbel, told RT. France, in particular, is at full stretch, with 16 military campaigns abroad and an ailing economy.
The Syrian conflict has eclipsed the G20 meeting in Saint
Petersburg, as the international community is unable to come to
an agreement over a possible military strike. Washington has put
forward a plan for military intervention against the Assad
regime, which it believes is responsible for a chemical attack in
a Damascus suburb on August 21.
RT: If the UN team of inspectors finds that chemical
weapons were used in the Damascus attack, do you believe military
intervention could be justified?
Alex Korbel: I think there is no case for military
intervention in Syria for several reasons. The first reason is
that there is no national interest for France or the US to
actually intervene in Syria. The regime of Bashar al Assad was
not a problem in the past and it is not clear why it’s now a
problem for France and the US. There is no clear objective in the
military intervention as it is now presented. Is it about
maintaining the credibility of the US? What credibility exactly?
The credibility to intervene in unnecessary wars? Is it to ban
the use of chemical weapons? Then why does the US have chemical
weapons in its arsenal? Is it to weaken the Bashar al Assad
regime? In that case you need to put boots on the ground. If it
is a humanitarian way to help the civilians, then locking on
cruise missiles is not the right solution.
For all of these reasons the US and France has decided to move ahead with limited military intervention. But still there is a danger of falling down a slippery slope. What if a military intervention has no effect? Are we going to see full war? What would be the consequences in the region? I am thinking about Iran and Lebanon and I am thinking about a war less than 1000 kilometers south of Russia.
There is no broad international support for this war. Germany is
against it, the UK is against it, China and Russia are against
it. The only countries that are in favor are France, which has
not yet consulted parliament, US and Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Finally, public opinion is clearly against it everywhere. We saw
it in the UK and the public polls in the US and France that the
public is massively against military intervention in Syria.
RT: Given the climate of economic crisis in the EU, can
France feasibly participate in another military operation?
AK: The economic situation of the EU countries is really
bad. We can see in France that public debt is higher than 90 per
cent of GDP. We see economic growth is less than 1 per cent. We
see across G20 countries on average that unemployment is at 9 per
cent and growing, that public debt is 64 per cent and growing,
that economic growth is 1 per cent and weakening. What needs to
be done is not to intervene militarily in another country.
France is already intervening in 16 countries worldwide. Clearly
we don’t have any money to finance a seventeenth operation. The
purpose of France, the US and any western power is not to ‘play
the cop’ around the world but actually to maintain a sound
economic policy first and then maybe lead by example on the