April 3, 2017 by Chris Kite
As Republican President Donald Trump ratchets up our involvement in the Syrian war, we are starting to see a very tragic and sad impact of that policy. Civilian deaths have dramatically increased. While the military says there has been no significant shift in strategy, that seems hard to believe given the drastic increase in civilian casualties. It is possible this is the result of more intense fighting in crowded and heavily populated areas, but it seems more likely that we’ve loosened the rules of engagement for air attacks.
These increased civilian casualties are tragic from both a human and a political strategy. Because as civilians begin to increasingly fear death from US airstrikes, it gives ISIS yet another tool to help it recruit future terrorists. These are people with nothing that are in a living hell. They lack basic essentials such as a safe place to live, food, water, sanitation, and medical care. As we ramp up bombing and start killing more civilians, you can bet that ISIS is going to leverage that as proof that America “is waging war on Islam.” Together with the attempted Muslim travel ban, talk of registering Muslims, and the Trump Administration’s harsh anti-Muslim rhetoric, we are making it easier for ISIS to recruit.