Kotarski: What can the West hope to achieve with a military strike on Syria?

By: /
28 August, 2013
By: Kris Kotarski
Columnist for the Calgary Herald

Western leaders hope that the collapse of Assad’s regime will lead to a more favourable strategic balance in the Middle East while Western allies including Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia acquiesce to or support military intervention against Assad for their own localized reasons ranging from a divide-and-conquer strategic posture to sectarian calculations.

Regardless of Western hopes and intentions, recent history (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya) tells us that military interventions do not result in outcomes that improve the strategic position of Western states. They also do not improve life conditions for local populations.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter