Though Syria still struggles with violence and fighting, the Islamic State’s territorial holdings have been almost completely eradicated. But while ISIS may no longer have physical control in the country, it has left young militants and a dangerous, extremist ideology.
With the escalating tensions threatening to break out into active military hostilities between the US and Iran, it’s important to remember one crucial fact: Iran is the biggest problem in the Middle East.
In the ceaseless struggle between civilization and barbarism, America has tipped the scales toward civilization, toward freedom and justice. In many ways, it has organized its national life—its economic, military, and moral resources—toward this end. Are we still up to the task?
Some in the US government have suggested that we should make a grand bargain with Russia over Syria that would let Assad stay as Moscow curbed Iran’s power in the country. But such a deal would lead to the mass exile or massacre of civilians stuck in the international community’s failed de-escalation zone of Idlib and cement Iran’s control over Syria.
Syria—with five million refugees, 500,000 dead, the Pandora’s box of chemical warfare reopened, a cesspool of terror groups, and Russians and Americans, Israelis and Iranians shooting at each other—is the very definition of chaos.