How do issues like oil production, droughts, and other energy and environment issues factor into the Syrian conflict?
Media reports and columnists have connected dots on these issues. A New York Times column by Thomas Friedman earlier this year asserted that Syria's historic drought—itself exacerbated by climate change—helped fuel the country's civil war. The Guardian reported last month that the Syrian intervention plan was fueled by oil interests, not concerns over chemical weapons. Other experts, though, say the Syrian conflict is not about oil much at all.
How much has oil production in Syria influenced the conflict and America's response to it? Has our domestic oil boom shielded the United States from needing to worry as much about Syria and oil disruptions in the region?
How has the drought influenced the situation? And how, if at all, should climate change be considered within the context of Syria's civil war?
What other energy and environment issues are at stake in Syria?