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Humanitarian Hawks Push for War, Military Hoping for Peace

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.

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  • EvilBuzzard

    And just what do we do in Syria? Hand it over lock, stock and barrel to AQ-Iraq? Make it the 51st state? Just what is the game plan other than get the meany to stop?

  • vanderleun

    ” A show of determination in Syria could make Iran more amenable to compromise. ”

    Oh….. puh-leaze, Louise. Who’s writing this, an intern? Someone who is young? Someone who is new to the planet?

    What we do or (more likely) don’t do in Syria means zero, zip, nada to the elements and powers and mullahs running Iran. The only thing that would mean anything at all to them that we could even conceivably do in Syria would be a Seal Team dropping in past all defenses to Osama Assad and his entire extended family and tribe.

    Absent that actions and non-actions in Syria are meaningless.

  • Kenny

    “The downfall of Assad is in America’s interest.”

    That’s an ignorant statement unless you’re able to say that what will replace Assad will be better — and you can’t.

  • peter38a

    “Humanitarian Hawks,” now ain’t they ones now.

    As the Spanish Civil War unfolded (if I might use that euphemism for that brutish affair) there were many American progressives who pressed for the US to become involved (please stop me before I euphemize again). When that didn’t happen they formed a volunteer military group called The Abraham Lincoln Brigade; they fought and put their bodies in harms way. I have respect for that but I have none for their ideological offspring wanting to put other people’s children in peril while the greatest hazard they will face is having too many deserts as they promote themselves as liberal lions on the New York dinner party circuit.

  • Corlyss

    There’s no more dovish class than the US military. They never want to fight. Why? Because the most committed peacenik knows war only by repute. The men and women who have to fight the wars know about the awfulness of war, the cost, the lives, the treasure. But they are willing to do it because someone has to care enough to do it or this country won’t last for long without them.

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