Here's a novel approach to solve the Syrian crisis: Go in, take over the country, and make it a protectorate of the United States. Now, I'm not saying we definitely should do it, but I'm saying we should consider it.
The goal would not be so much to free the people -- to bring them democracy -- as to free them from war. Could we do that? Could we go in, kick out not only Bashar al Assad, but also ISIS and any other rough influence -- and keep them out?
It is war the country needs freedom from. Six million are internally displace, almost five million have fled the country and are refugees, and an estimate 400,000 have been killed.
Could we do it? Could we isolate the country from war? Could we take a country in the middle of the Middle East and block out all the hostile elements so prevalent in that part of the world? (A few of Trump's walls might be worthy.)
And, could we afford to do all this?
I believe the answer might be, yes, to both questions. For part of the model of how to do it, look no further than Israel. In it, we have a country surrounded by foes and yet it is a nation not only surviving, but thriving. They have their famous Iron Dome anti-missile system. Place a similar system over Syria. Look at whatever other measures Israel has in place for keeping out the enemy and copy them.
Again, I'm not sure but what Trump-type border walls might be in order. Consider Gaza, and how the wall there keeps out weapons that might be used against Israel.
Now, in Syria, since we are wanting to be a benevolent protectorate, while blocking the nation off, do everything to help the economy and to foster it. That is part of being a benevolent protectorate, building the economy.
Can we pay for all this? Seems a little much, right? Well, yes, we can pay for it. We can afford to do this. Syria has its oil wells. Take their profits and use them to pay for the defense system.
The harder question is, what will become of the defense system down the line? What if we are ever pressured to leave? Do we leave behind the defense system we have created? What if an undesirable government some day takes over? Will our defense system fall into its hands? Should we make it clear that if we leave, we dismantle the system?
Still, so far, I am not dissuaded from thinking the right way to handle the Syrian crisis is to adopt the nation, take it under our wing, and care for it as a parent cares for its child.