Foreign Policy Blogs

Perpetual Conflict: An End to the Beginning?

Freedom fighters: Peshmerga forces from Iraq have helped keep Daesh at bay in Kurdistan, in spite of chemical weapons attacks CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

In the past few weeks, forces fighting to completely liberate Syria and Iraq from ISIS have claimed that their mission is accomplished in ousting the fascist army from their countries. While the military mission is coming to an end, the wider conflict in the Middle East and outside of the region that created the conditions for a military takeover in the Levant may still persist. The reality of an army that committed genocide and slave trading on a mass scale taking over large areas of Syria and Iraq is still one that is hard to fathom. While the logistics of these tragedies have been shattered by force, the underlying problems may produce other unlikely and unbelievable results, ones that may increase conflict, death and organized genocide in the region and spread abroad.

One of the main catalysts of future conflicts in the region is the erratic balance of power between local regional powers vying for control over their traditional enemies in the region. After Syria, the world has quickly turned their focus on the starvation and war in Yemen, a proxy war between two powers that will turn any battlefield into blood and dust. Without the understanding of this rush to gain power that gave rise to fascist ideologues running a terror state, no resolutions can be produced due to a lack of knowledge. Without future acceptance, consideration and application of policies to limit conflict between local ancient adversaries, it is likely that more human rights violations will take place post Syria, and even if resolved, post Yemen. Any policy that will increase the ability for one power player in the region to have the perception that can decimate the other will lead to an attempted decimation. Any peoples who do not have a militia dedicated to their protection, with adequate equipment and support, should be removed and protected from the wider conflict without conditions, limitations or political games played while they languish in a death camp or refugee camp. Such actions lead to further atrocities and the passive acceptance of one group of people being legitimate targets, with the international community treating them as less human than Western leaders treat those committing acts of genocide against them.

Over the next few years, there must be a clean and clear manner in how the international community treats victims of genocide in these perpetual conflicts. Political expediency based on the political value of genocide survivors should not only be frowned upon, but be made into a crime by national governments and by the international community. Local groups and charity organisations often worked in Syria and Iraq to free survivors of what can be seen as the worst treatment of women and girls in recorded human history, and if their own government limits help or actively discourages assisting those they know are being raped, burned alive, buried alive and executed, there is no excuse for lack of action. No political official should be making decisions for a community when they forget humanity for the sake of a well paid public sector job. While not entirely common, the fact that it occurs at all is an insult to all of those who perished simply because they were born into a community not of their choosing that was targeted to be wiped out by another group of people.

A conflict taking place in any region of the world will most likely affect other parts of the globe, and if the end of ISIS in Syria and Iraq will demonstrate anything, it is that the conflict has spread and it is targeting the most vulnerable. While it is hoped that continued attacks in the Middle East and outside of the region will stop, there is a likely chance that until the situation is understood, focused upon and addressed, there will be further attacks like those in Manchester and Nice. Attacks that increasingly target entire families and youth in larger cities around the world can never be accepted, as it violates the notion that the state is responsible for protecting individuals so they do not have to form militias for their own protection. To maintain strong communities and proper government there must be an assurance of security. When there is an inability to protect citizens and their families, there is no way forward for a society. For those refugees who escaped the region and genocide being committed against their community, there is no justification for having them live and continue being a target in a safe country. If these issue are not resolved post victory, it is more likely the case that this latest war was just the end to the beginning of further conflict.

 

Author

Richard Basas
Richard Basas

Richard Basas, a Canadian Masters Level Law student educated in Spain, England, and Canada (U of London MA 2003 LL.M., 2007), has worked researching for CSIS and as a Reporter for the Latin America Advisor. He went on to study his MA in Latin American Political Economy in London with the University of London and LSE. Subsequently, Rich followed his career into Law focusing mostly on International Commerce and EU-Americas issues. He has worked for many commercial and legal organisations as well as within the Refugee Protection Community in Toronto, Canada, representing detained non-status indivduals residing in Canada. Rich will go on to study his PhD in International Law.

Areas of Focus:
Law; Economics and Commerce; Americas; Europe; Refugees; Immigration

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