Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Bruce Bagley

Second Committee Member

Laura Gomez-Mera

Third Committee Member

Ambler Moss


Civil war has persisted as a relevant topic of debate concerning U.S. foreign policy. On the international stage, getting involved in another nation’s civil war has become highly contentious. Following intervention in Vietnam, Korea, Somalia, and later in Libya, many argue towards a more isolationist U.S. stance. One of the mostly highly debated cases of civil war today is the case of Syria. While many are pushing for the U.S. to do more, many are sending a warning to stay away. Much closer to home, Colombia sought to control a drug-fueled civil war that erupted to a level that the U.S. could no longer ignore. An intervention strategy was instated through Plan Colombia with mixed results. Nevertheless, the Colombian peace process which is now taking place may set the tone for the greatest level of nation-wide development yet. This manuscript will analyze the cases of Syria and Colombia, and what motivated an American intervention in these nations. Additionally, included is a breakdown of the effects of U.S. involvement on each civil war and finally concluding remarks.


United States; Colombia; Syria; intervention; civil war