Global threat arises from the Syrian conflict

Josh Bradshaw, Staff member

Syria and the Middle East are two major topics that have been scarcely discussed in both the American media and the American public.

Frankly put, world issues usually take the back burner in the United States.

Why should we concern ourselves with other nation’s problems? Would it not be easier to stay and fix our own problems here in the United States?

Since globalization has connected all of the industrialized countries together, both economically and sometimes politically, it is impossible to ignore topics such as Syria.

We are part of not only the country of the United States of America, but also a part of a world that relies on one another for political, financial and sometimes military support. On its surface, global issues may not affect DVC students or the American population instantaneously, but they may in the near future.

Syria is currently fighting for freedom from an oppressive government and many terrorist groups and guerrilla fighters have taken up arms in this struggle.

According to a CNN article from Feb. 20, authored by Nader Hashemi, director of Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the U.S. should care about the Syrian struggle. The conflict has poured over the Syrian border into surrounding countries such as Iraq, Turkey and even Iran.

The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, informed the United States Congress that “roughly 7,000 foreign fighters from 50 countries are in Syria–most of them linked with extremist militias.”

Clapper also acknowledged the presence of al Qaeda, deeming this a viable threat to the United States. Syria is reaching the verge of destruction with their civil war, and odds are the extremists will not stop even when the country is destroyed. The violence will continue into other regions, causing even more global unrest. This could have devastating effects on the United States, if this issue is left unattended.

Another article from CNN on April 3, discussed potential problems that may arise, if Syria were to fall into extremist hands. The author, Simon Tisdall, points out that Syria is in the process of “becoming a bridgehead to Europe for al Qaeda and like-minded fanatics.” In other words, Europe will be the target of the Islamic fundamentalists, opposing western values and ideas.

The article references another article published on Feb. 16 from the website of the British based newspaper, The Telegraph. This article discusses the fear many Europeans have as many British extremists and jihadists who went to fight in Syria are now returning home. “Britain is facing a ‘significant and growing’ threat from up to 250 British-based jihadists, who went to train and fight in Syria.” Besides the United States, some European nations are the largest targets for extremists.

James Brokenshire, the British Minister of State for Security and Immigration, informs the public that “Syria has become the number one jihadist destination in the world.”

There have not been any recent attacks on European countries yet, but they are under threat as long as the crisis in Syria continues.

How does all of this affect us, the student body of DVC? Well it is quite simple. If terrorists attack European countries, why would we not be a target as well? We have been the target of previous terrorist attacks, such as the one on September 11, 2001.

Sure, there have not been any attacks on that scale in the United States since then, but that does not mean it will not happen again.

The threat from Syria is putting the countries, which share common western beliefs, at risk. Innocent civilians in American and European countries are at risk from terrorist attacks. All of these threat scenarios are a possibility if the Syrian conflict is not resolved.