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If we just pour enough weapons into the region peace will magically emerge.

Before sending more weapons to so-called “moderate” rebel groups in Syria, let’s just take a moment to consider the pernicious arms cycle we perpetuate.

Previously, we armed rebels in Libya. That helped overthrow the dictator there but also destabilized the country. As a result of the instability in Libya, a number of these weapons appeared in conflicts in other places like Mali and Syria.

I persume at least some of these weapons from Libya ended up in the hands of ISIS. ISIS then used these weapons to help beat the Iraqi army, which had been armed by the United States. When the Iraqi army fled, ISIS grabbed a large number of these American weapons.

So now to beat ISIS armed with American weapons we are arming a loose configuration of “moderate” rebels with even more American weapons. We are hoping these “moderate” rebels defeat ISIS because if they don’t then ISIS might end up grabbing even more American weapons from these dead “moderates.”

Of course, even if the “moderate” rebels beat ISIS there is no guarantee some group(s) within these rebels, now heavily armed with American weapons, won’t use this newly gained firepower to takeover using tactics we find equally horrific. If that happens, I assume we will then send even more weapons to their opponents as well keeping the cycle going, hoping that eventually some group we can tolerate ends up briefly on top .

Apparently, if we just pour enough weapons into the region peace will magically emerge.

Photo by JIEDDO under Creative Commons license

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com