Will Humanitarian Intervention Solve the Syrian Crisis?
The war in Syria continues to consume thousands of lives as it rages on. Will other nations intervene for humanitarian reasons? When will the Syrian crisis end?
The nation of Syria has been in a state of civil war for over two years. Recently the crisis in Ukraine has dominated headlines and complicated even further the negotiations concerning Syria. The Syrian crisis continues to be very serious and tenuous.
The current death toll is listed as more than 100,000—mostly civilians. The situation seems unlikely to be resolved through peace talks. Neighboring countries, particularly Turkey and Jordan, are being faced with a massive refugee crisis as thousands are being displaced from their homes. The use of chemical weapons has apparently stopped for now, but that was after several atrocities had already been committed and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad still possesses the option to use chemical weapons.
The prospect of a peaceful Syria looks bleak. As we look at the complex situation, we have to ask—will this situation ever be solved?
A humanitarian war?
One option that could change the situation in Syria is a humanitarian war. This option is not talked about as much anymore, since the immediate use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime seems less likely. But the fact that this situation is still one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the 21st century has not changed.
A recent article in The Telegraph highlighted the suffering caused by the Syrian crisis: “With 60 per cent of the population suffering from malnutrition, residents reported not having eaten fruit or vegetables for months. The price of one kilogram [2.2 pounds] of rice has soared to £60. Many have been reduced to eating leaves and weeds, while others have been targeted by snipers as they foraged for food” (March 10, 2014).
A humanitarian war is a war justified as being fought for humanitarian reasons, as opposed to the national interests of participating nations. Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo are all examples of past humanitarian wars. Yet the lesson from the history of these conflicts is that humanitarian wars don’t always fully solve a problem.
Pros and cons of intervening in Syria
A humanitarian war is a war justified as being fought for humanitarian reasons, as opposed to the national interests of participating nations. Yet the lesson from the history of these conflicts is that humanitarian wars don’t always fully solve a problem.Those who are for a humanitarian intervention in Syria often give the following reasons:
- To ease the suffering of the Syrian people.
- To rid the world of the violent Assad regime.
- To destroy the stockpiles of chemical weapons that exist in Syria.
In the best-case scenario, a humanitarian intervention in Syria would help bring a quicker end to the Syrian civil war, stop the bombings and the deaths, and possibly help end the reign of the Assad regime.
Those who are against intervening in Syria usually look beyond the best-case scenario. For example, here are some of the arguments used in America:
- The U.S. shouldn’t become caught up in another war in the Middle East.
- History shows that humanitarian interventions normally consist of aerial bombardments, which will take the lives of innocent civilians as well.
- There’s no guarantee that a successful regime change will occur.
- American blood should not be spilled to solve another nation’s problems.
- Intervening is just an excuse for American imperialism.
- The affairs of other nations are none of America’s business.
Currently, it seems highly unlikely that the United States will intervene in Syria.
But the good news is that an intervention is coming!
The return of Christ—the greatest humanitarian intervention
The Bible reveals that Jesus Christ will intervene in the affairs of this world for a humanitarian purpose! This will come at the end of an era of wars and disasters that will nearly destroy the earth.
The Bible reveals that Jesus Christ will intervene in the affairs of this world for a humanitarian purpose! This will come at the end of an era of wars and disasters that will nearly destroy the earth. With global annihilation at the door, Jesus Christ will return to earth to save humanity from itself (Matthew 24:22). This intervention will be successful and result in a total regime change. Satan the devil and his influence will be replaced by the direct rule of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4; Daniel 2:44).
But Satan and an evil humanity will not go down without a fight. There will be a great end-time battle between Christ and the combined armies of multiple nations gathered near Jerusalem (Revelation 19:17-21).
The result of this final, bloody war will be a new era of peace. This era is called the Millennium, because it will initially last 1,000 years.
Jesus Christ taught that the reality of His future rule requires a response now. Because “the kingdom of God is at hand,” it is our responsibility to “repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
To learn more about Christ’s coming intervention in human affairs, read our article “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”