The alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria???s government against its own people has caused U.S. President Barack Obama to threaten limited military action designed to prevent a recurrence. However, a peaceful solution to the conflict would be much better for investors, if one can be found.
Markets dislike risk, and military action anywhere in the Middle East has the potential to trigger responses from a wide range of countries, terrorist organizations and rebels that could bring unintended and unwelcome consequences. Those who favor a U.S. military strike need to balance the risks with any possible benefits from attacking the chemical weapons distribution system in Syria.
The United States and other countries in the world have every right and reason to assail the Syrian leaders if they attacked their own people with chemical weapons. But definitive evidence to prove chemical weapons were used by the government in the recent attacks against innocent civilians is difficult to gather in the midst of a civil war. The victims included women and children who were doing nothing more than trying to survive in a land that has been engulfed in an internal conflict that shows no sign of abating. The humanitarian aspect of the civil war is enormous and cannot be understated. But the ongoing battle and the risk of its escalation also weigh negatively on the markets. Another effect could be rising oil prices.
Syrian leaders previously refused to acknowledge that they even possessed chemical weapons. After the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians that was documented by medical personnel who treated the victims, nefarious elements in Syria certainly have the capability. The #1 suspect in perpetrating the inhumane attack is the country???s current regime.
A plan proposed by Syrian ally and arms supplier Russia to dismantle Syria’s stockpiles of mustard gas, sarin and VX nerve agent will be virtually impossible to verify. However, it may be a useful first step in trying to remove some of the chemical weapons from the Syrian government. Otherwise, the chemical weapons could be deployed to harm Syria???s own people as the country???s civil war continues and President Bashar al-Assad tenaciously clings to power, regardless of the violent opposition to his leadership within the country.
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Paul Dykewicz is a seasoned journalist who is the editorial director of the Financial Publications Group at Eagle Publishing and the editor of the Eagle Daily Investor website. He also edits four monthly investment newsletters, Forecasts & Strategies, Successful Investing, Alpha Investor Letter and PowerTrend Profits, as well as a number of time-sensitive trading services.