The Problems with Safe Zones
The president-elect has suggested that we will be able to create “safe zones” in Syria:
“We’re going to build safe zones,” he told supporters at a rally in Florida. “We’re going to get the Gulf States to pay for the safe zones.”
First, as a side note, what is it with Trump and the assumption that the US is going to dictate to the whole world about paying for things?
Second, and more to the point, this idea is not a very good one, despite the fact that it sounds nice.
International relations professor Steve Saideman at Carleton University explains why in a list worth reading: Why Safe Zones are Moronic, Oxy and Otherwise.
The key point:
Here is the big one: safe zones would require….. combat. We might also call it war. It would require the deployment of tens of thousands of soldiers to create spaces where the Syrian army cannot go AND where the Syrian artillery cannot fire. How do you prevent Syrian artillery from firing into a safe zone? Glad you asked. Either by providing artillery that engages in counter-battery fire or by airstrikes. How does that work if Russians happen to be near the Syrian artillery? Are we prepared to kill Russians in order to create AND MAINTAIN safe zones.