Syria is an issue that demands new ways of dealing with conflict. The majority of the public concede that more refugees must be accepted, a point with which the prime minister appears to also agree now. The problem with refugees is that many consider them to have a similar effect on their destination nation as economic migrants would, so much so that the distinction between migrant and refugee has been one of the points of contention during the last few weeks.
Any government which has a major issue to deal with must seek to find the strengths in the situation rather than simply run scared from the problems. David Cameron infamously said that the solution to the crisis was not simply to accept more refugees. In this he is correct; the solution must go further than this. Opportunities must be sought to help those refugees in regaining their lives and their self respect.
It has been suggested to me that training refugees in how to fight and wage a war might be a solution, so that they can return to their nation and reclaim it for themselves. Whilst it is certain that many of them are currently unprepared for the conflict around them it is also certain that many of them are plainly not going to fit into the mold of a soldier. If this nation were overcome by war how many of the people you know would plainly not be up to the task of fighting in the traditional position of a soldier.
Likewise, military action and airstrikes are considered to be a necessary path for foreign governments. Military action is one of the courses that people oppose on idealistic grounds. For many it is simply out of the question, like suggesting a cull of squirrels to a group of vegans, it is not going to be taken well. While I do not offer opinions on potential military action I accept that it might be the chosen method of those in power and at present it might not be the time to resist that decision.
My opinion on the path to resolving the situation lies in knowledge. Perhaps it is my past as an educator that compels me to consider knowledge to be the most important way forward, just as I would assume by brother, the military strategist, to support military action. Different people from different walks of life will have different ideas which must be respected on the strength of their experience and specialist knowledge. And there lies that world ‘knowledge’ again.
The people who are currently being forced out of their country bring with them a great deal of knowledge and they also need a great deal of knowledge. They should be trained, but the training should not be in basic fighting skills. In a nod to the military perhaps they should at least be trained in strategy and logistics, but mainly they need training in problem solving, team building, diplomacy, and other arts of gentle control. Britain or any other nation should not be considered a final destination for any refugee. These other nations should be considered places where they can regroup and discover methods and ways in which they might regain their homeland.
The communication that is allowed by the use of the internet will enable a political state to exist without geographic boundaries. It is possible for people living in Berlin or London to communicate with people living in small villages in Devon. Refugees must be aided in organising themselves as a cohesive group while also allowing them to integrate into any host societies. The inevitable result of segregating them would ultimately be resentment on the part of hosting native populations.
While integrating with host nations, the refugees would be able to create cohesive groups to try and find solutions to their own problems without the need to rely on others to take action. Offering them training in bureaucratic and diplomatic arts would give them more peaceful weapons to win back their homes. In exchange they can offer knowledge of their own. People who live in nations outside the conflict need to hear about what is happening, why it happened and what led up to it happening. The arabic language they speak is something that more of use should grow accustomed with considering the way world politics is currently shaping itself.
This exchange of information would strengthen not only them but us as well. While I am sure that military maneuvers may be inevitable just as David Cameron asserted the solution was not simply to accept more refugees, I assert the solution is also not simply to rely on further escalation of conflict.
Since writing this I have had my attention drawn to this additional content: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/middle-east/14710-britains-syrian-diaspora-unites-to-build-peace-in-their-homeland . It is uncanny how closely it connects with what I have written and is probably more worthy of being read due to the information and facts contained within.