Despite renewed calls for intervention from humanitarian hawks in Congress, it appears the U.S. military doesn’t want a Syrian intervention. An article in this morning’s New York Times cites Pentagon officials warning that a Syrian operation would be very complicated.
One senior defense official said over the weekend that even creating “safe havens,” or protected areas inside Syria for civilians, would be such a complex operation that military planners were “looking at a serious contingent of U.S. ground troops” to help establish and maintain them, should the United States take such a course of action.
The downfall of Assad is in America’s interest; another Middle East war is not. Furthermore, it’s impossible to consider Syria in isolation. What we end up doing with Damascus can have repercussions on our policy goals in Iran. A show of determination in Syria could make Iran more amenable to compromise. Or it could have no effect, or a perverse one, making an isolated Iran more fixed on getting a bomb.It’s not clear what the answers are to the Syrian conundrum, and the situation is constantly changing. For now, Via Meadia thinks our best bet is to raise the pressure on both Iran and Syria, don’t start a war, and wait and watch to see what opportunities arise.