The failure of the United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC) to enact any meaningful response to the conflict in Syria is eroding not only life in Syria but the very foundation of international order. This report uses the Arab Spring conflicts which the conflict in Syria is a part of to talk about larger systemic problems in the UN framework. This report argues the responsibility to protect (R2P) needs to be utilized in Syria because it could end the violence and further entrench R2P as customary law. This report also argues that the permanency of the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Russia and China in the UNSC, known as the P5, represents a lofty roadblock to fully realizing the R2P. As well, the P5 are halting the progression of human rights, state sovereignty, and a ceasing of bloodshed in Syria. Authoritative regimes are on the rise, and as soon as 2017 the international community could see three out of the five permanent seats of the UNSC governed by such regimes. The UNSC is in peril and needs broad reform if the UN desires to continue its hegemony in diplomacy. However, this report concludes the international community will not utilize the prescribed solutions because it would kill any legitimacy in the UNSC, albeit a decidedly false legitimacy.
Screaming Match with Iran
The United States shares an insidious and dirty history with Iran that causes deep mistrust. Throughout our history, we have used coercive diplomacy and international ambiguity, which do not help build any confidence between our two nations. Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has intense ideas of sovereignty and would view any strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities as an attack against his regime. Khamenei’s ideological evolution said to be based on a “cosmopolitan past,” is the product of deep religious studies and ardent relationships with secular intellectuals within Iran (Ganji 26). Iran is no stranger to American-led regime change and values its sovereignty with fierce conviction. From Morocco to Pakistan, the Middle East, and Northern Africa, the countries are a tinderbox waiting for an ill-flicked cigarette to set it all ablaze. There is considerable fear that any unilateral move by America would be that spark. Trust, or rather mistrust, was the catalyst that ignited these poor relations but could be the bandage that heals our festering wounds. However, “some portray any progress – More so than reaching a new level of trust – as a critical first step” (Peterson 1). A unilateral military strike undertaken by the United States of America against Iran’s nuclear facilities will have unforeseen international consequences.