Home/Daniel Larison/Marco Rubio Favors Greater Chaos in Syria

Marco Rubio Favors Greater Chaos in Syria

Marco Rubio wants the U.S. and allies to support the Syrian opposition, and then says this in his interview with BuzzFeed:

When America doesn’t lead, what ensues is chaos – which is what you have now in Syria.

Considering what has happened in western Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, and Mali when America does “lead,” this is a very strange way to describe the results of U.S. “leadership.” Rubio’s statement isn’t a very good description of the real world, but it is an intriguing window into the thinking of hawkish interventionists. If we take Rubio’s statement seriously, he assumes that U.S. “leadership” (i.e., support for arming the opposition via Turkey and other regional states) would make Syria less chaotic than it currently is, but the limited measures Rubio proposes are more likely to create more disorder and violence.

Supporters of arming the opposition are openly calling for Syria to become more chaotic in the hopes that it will eventually cause Assad to lose power. Indeed, they unrealistically hope that the limited measures they are proposing will eventually cause regime collapse, which will necessarily produce disorder on a large scale throughout the country. Advocates of any form of a Syrian military intervention want there to be more instability and more upheaval than there is now, and those would entail greater loss of life. That would be the purpose of the intervention: to tear down the existing political order and create a new one. Rubio would like the U.S. to assist in the overthrow of another government, which by its very nature involves introducing greater chaos into the country and the surrounding region than currently exists.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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