The ongoing crisis in Syria is the deadliest when compared to other uprisings taking place in the Arab world. The United Nations is the only international actor that is trying to bring peace in the country because the rest are engaged in supremacy wars. Before the annexation of Crimea, Syria was considered the hot spot because the powerful economies were all focused on helping the antagonistic groups in the country. The United States conducted an extensive study that confirmed Assad’s government had used chemical weapons against the demonstrating citizens. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has been threatening to take action without much success. Similarly, various European powers are threatening to attack the Assad’s government, even though it is surprising that no considerable action is being taken yet overthrowing the repressive regime in Syria is long overdue. The Arab league has been quiet on the Syrian case as well as given the fact the country is not a strong member.
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During the Libyan civil war, the secretary general of the Arab League declared that the membership of Libya had been suspended and this was seen as an attempt to put pressure on Gaddafi to accept reforms (Anderson, 2011). However, the Libyan leader retaliated by claiming the league was finished since his country was the foundation upon which the league was based. The European nations made a resolution to intervene in the Libyan case since its continued instability was affecting the continent economically. Consequently, France led the mantle in attacking Gaddafi’s forces leading to his capture and subsequent killing in his rural home. The US issued several warnings to the government before France attacked it, with the secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, holding talks with the country’s leadership on various occasions. The issue was discussed severally in the congress whereby several legislators supported the resolution to attack the country to force the dictator to surrender.
It might be surprising to see many states in various continents being interested in the Libyan crisis and not that of Syria. However, the answer is simple since Libya is considered one of the greatest producers and supplier of petroleum products globally. In early 1990s, the Security Council was forced to slap economic sanctions to Libya because of its unethical behaviour of engaging in gross violation of human rights. At this time, the global economy was affected since many countries depended on its oil. It was felt that the continuing conflicts could affect the steady flow of oil globally leading to the worst financial crisis ever. Many economies in Europe were unable to meet their objectives because of the Libyan conflicts. Unlike Libya, Syria does not have sufficient oil deposits that usually attract the attention of major world powers, such as the US. Intervening militarily in Syria would not achieve the national interests of powerful states (Gardner, 2009). In fact, the UN resolutions are inapplicable in the country since they lack the blessings of the global hegemonies. It is concluded that a state will never engage in zero-sum game whereby it only intervenes militarily to salvage the interests of other actors. Powerful states have a tendency of committing their resources in places that high returns are expected, such as Libya.
Anderson, L. (2011). Demystifying the Arab Spring: Parsing the Differences between Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Foreign Affairs, 90(3), 45-67.
Gardner, D. (2009). Last Chance: The Middle East in the Balance. London: Tauris.