The current Syrian Civil War between a loose confederation of militias and Assad’s regime can find mediation through a strategy of increasing trade. Jordan is the wild card that no one is talking about right now. We need to look to Jordan and support King Abdullah II and his Hashemite constitutional monarchy. Jordan is threatened by three things resulting from the Syrian Civil War.
- Jordan is threatened by a refugee crisis.
- They are threatened by the potential for a Sunni Jihadest government forming along their border that will raise sympathies by conservative people in their own country.
- Finally they are threatened by Assad himself who sees Jordan as too western leaning and too much maneuvering against him could result in a direct response.
One of the unifying characteristics of the Arab peoples is world trade. The ancient Nabataens lived in Trans Jordan. They were eventually annexed by the Roman Empire. They were one of the few civilizations that were not conquered by the Roman Empire. They had an amazing propensity for trade, and this characteristic marks these people today. We need to increase trade with Jordan. We can do this by giving them aid with strings attached to increase trade. This will serve two purposes.
- It will help the refugee population find employment by employing them to deliver goods or services. If you look at the trade routes above you will see that many of these ancient trade routes went through Israel.
- This could could change Israel's image into a trading partner instead of a military adversary.
The Palestinian question is inflammatory in Jordan. The Palestinian peoples could be given preference in regards to any employment generated by increased trade.
What should they trade? In ancient times silk, oil, spices, timber and many other commodities crowded these trade routes. What would be a modern commodity that could be transported by individuals, and is still considered essential? Coffee, sugar, corn, wheat and cotton are the most popular agricultural commodities today. Certainly Jordan's fruit and vegetable farms could be expanded to dispatch goods to these refugee couriers. Eventually, if the wealth of this trade market is successful enough Assad may even be bought out and portions of the country could be annexed to other states.
None of this will happen quickly. The response to the gassing of children and families in Syria is not addressed in this short post. I agree there should be a response, but this post deals with the end game instead of any immediate response to violations of the Geneva agreement. Most US citizens are more concerned about the end game in Syria. If President Obama addresses that, I am sure he will find favor if he takes action in retaliation for war crimes by Syria.
Just my thoughts Mr. President,