What is the Obama administration’s mission in Syria? Secretary of State John Kerry recently spelled it out:
We will be able to hold Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging in troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort in a very limited, very targeted, short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria’s civil war. That is exactly what we are talking about doing—[an] unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.
In other words, the purpose of the Obama administration’s proposed involvement in Syria—something that at a minimum will cost America substantial resources and put the lives of U.S. soldiers at risk—is not to topple the brutal Assad regime, not to prevent the deaths of civilians, and not to further America’s interests in the region. The purpose—if it can be called that—is to put on an empty military show in response to Assad purportedly crossing an arbitrarily drawn “red line” regarding the means by which he slaughters Syrians.
Unfortunately, given the Obama administration’s general approach to foreign policy, the smallness and ineffectiveness of the proposed Syria strike is all too believable.
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