Money Spent on Missile Strike Could Have Been Invested in Peace

Money Spent on Missile Strike Could Have Been Invested in Peace
George

George Cassidy Payne

George Cassidy Payne is a freelance writer, domestic violence counselor, and adjunct professor of humanities at Finger Lakes Community College. He lives and works in Rochester. George is the founder of Gandhi Earth Keepers International.

Money Spent on Missile Strike Could Have Been Invested in Peace

Defense Secretary James Mattis confirmed that the U.S. used more than twice as many missiles as it did in a 2017 strike on Syria’s Sharyat Airbase on April 7, 2017. That attack used 59 Tomahawk missiles, and was ordered by President Donald Trump.

missile

Tomahawk (missile)

“We were very precise and proportionate, but at the same time it was a heavy strike,” Mattis said. If the 118 missiles used this time around were Raytheon manufactured Tomahawks, at least 165.2 million was spent on this mission. That’s a lot, especially when one considers other ways that this money could have been spent. Rather than blowing up three buildings, further traumatizing a war torn populace, subjecting the U.S. to Russian propaganda, and doing nothing to deter Bashar al-Assad from continuing to wage war against his own people, this money could have been spent on peacemaking. See The US fired more than 118 missiles at Syria in coordinated response to suspected chemical weapons attack (Business Insider)

What do I mean by peacemaking? For instance, while shaming the Syrian government over the use of chemical weapons — an abomination to all civilized people — President Trump could have rolled out a multi-pronged 165.2 million dollar investment strategy aimed at providing the Syrian people with real aid, dismantling Syria’s capacity for using these weapons in the future, and denying the Russians from accusing the United States of breaking international laws. After-all, 165.2 million dollars goes a long way.

To begin with, the president could have used a percentage of this money to offer asylum to the victim’s families. What city in America would turn away a refugee if their stay is bought and paid for by the United States government? Millions could have been spent (in a highly public way) to help Syrian refugees already relocated in the states with money for housing, medical care, education, and job training.

The president could also have made a high profile contribution to several cash strapped charity organizations that are making a tangible difference on the ground. Bolstering the operational budgets of groups such as the International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, and the UN White Helmets would have done more to send a message to the Assad regime than any missile strike ever could.

With the millions left over, the president could initiate a multinational peace summit that brings together all of the necessary parties

Anything would be better than the status quo. Estimates of deaths in the Syrian Civil War, per opposition activist groups, vary between 353,593 and 498, 583. This bloodbath cannot go on. It may feel cathartic to blow stuff up, but it is not an effective way to bring peace to Syria. Just watch and see. The 162.5 million dollar missile strike will do absolutely nothing to stop the slaughter. If the president is truly keen on sending Assad and his allies a message that he will never forget, he should invest massively in humanitarian aid, peace and reconciliation messaging, and domestic support to refugees.

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About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY and Lake Affect Magazine.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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