From Foreign Affairs: ‘The Best Case Scenario in Syria’

Full piece here.

You know, there may have been a chance of avoiding such a region-destabilizing Civil War, but that moment, should there have been such a moment, has long passed:

‘As the White House repeated this Monday, the conflict in Syria will only end with a political solution. In other words, the United States should use the leverage it has, in the form of continued pressure and looming military strikes, to help get all sides to the table.’

Could a bomb Saddam-like campaign work?

Joshua Landis at Syria Comment disagrees:

The US, however, should avoid getting sucked into the Syrian Civil War. Thus, it should punish Assad with enough force to deter future use of chemical weapons, but without using so much force that it gets drawn into an open-ended conflict’

But his solution strikes me as the same kind of liberal internationalist, U.N. one worlderish-type thinking that helped get us to this point:

‘The US should strive to persuade all parties to reach a power-sharing agreement to end the war. This can only happen with the cooperation of Russia and other players, such as Iran.’

That’s good for a laugh.  We kept a lid on the region.  We were the muscle, and now the Saudis, partially due to fracking, partially due to our withdrawal from the region without plans for our replacement, are turning to Moscow.  With so many players, including Iran and Russia fighting a proxy war Syria, this sounds pretty unworkable.

This is also why John Kerry’s appeal as to the moral awfulness of chemical weapons, and the need to draw a ‘red line’ and call others to action, while reasonable and historically accurate, still rings so hollow.  Geneva conventions do not a peaceful world make:


Are we still the world’s policeman?  Stay tuned.

Addition: Ramesh Ponnuru at the National Review, dissents:

‘This is not a military action that we are undertaking to defend ourselves from attack or to protect a core interest. The congressional power to declare war, if it is not to be a dead letter, has to apply here. And it seems to me exceedingly unlikely that Congress would vote to commit us in Syria, because the public manifestly opposes it. This is a war with no clear objective, thus no strategy to attain it, no legal basis, and no public support. I dissent.’

Related On This Site: …From Slate: ‘In Aleppo, Syria, Mohamed Atta Thought He Could Build The Ideal Islamic City’

Michael Totten At World Affairs: ‘Syria’s Regime Not Worth Preserving’James Kirchik At The American Interest: 

Michael Totten’s piece that revisits a Robert Kaplan piece from 1993, which is prescient:  “A Writhing Ghost Of A Would-Be Nation”.  It was always a patchwork of minority tribes, remnants of the Ottoman Empire

I just received a copy of Totten’s book, Where The West Ends, and it’s good reading.

Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘What Did The Arab Spring Really Change?’

Liberal Internationalism is hobbling us, and the safety of even the liberal internationalist doctrine if America doesn’t lead…Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill

8 thoughts on “From Foreign Affairs: ‘The Best Case Scenario in Syria’

  1. I’m sorry but can I “call it like it is?” This is all about President OBAMA working to try and save face and pull his feet out the doggie doo when he made his infamous “REDLINE” comment. A comment he had neither the will or desire to back up or the White House team to come up with a credible answer to the chemical weapons use. Not a single military man/woman will support any military action and the American people DO NOT WANT ANOTHER WAR! Suggestion: “Call Bill Clinton and ask him how the aspirin factory bombing fiasco went for him?” But Bill had real policy makers on his team…Pres. Obama is clueless and so is his team.

  2. Bernie, you’re definitely onto something there. I’m just trying to address where this leadership has gotten us, and what to do about it.

    • I understand Chris. I am just LONG past due in not granting any more credit to this hapless, inexperienced, inept administration which was elected with absolutely NO governing experience…he has enough apologists across this country and in the media and doesn’t need me!

  3. No apologetics for the mess that is our foreign policy, and the lack of strategy, inexperience, and overall mismanagement. I’ve been thinking about policy almost despite this President. But we’re stuck with him a while longer, and with certain decisions to make with, without, and because of him.

  4. What is our mission here, so others could even join a coalition?

    What do we do about Iran?

    How much did his redline comment box Obama in and just how badly has he handled himself?

    • Today we hear that he called the Canadian PM. The Brits are not going to support troops. The French are wringing their hands. I think China and Iran and Russia are bluffing BUT we don’t need to be testing the Bluff!!
      Israel has the most to lose (again) with our continued missteps and mishandling by this President.
      But we sure are not talking about ObamaCare, the NSA, IRS, Homeland Security and Keystone Pipeline are we?

  5. This is what happens when you let the liberal internationalists run the show. Human rights ideals are used to guide the national interest and the military, and they haven’t defined a mission nor clear objectives so an international coalition could even be formed.

    It’s a strong misreading of the incentives and alliances that actually form to actually take action when it’s needed, and they’ve now backed themselves into a worse situation in Syria, and the comically ineffective UN is telling them to wait a few more days.

    The shame of this is that our troops could be used to furnish the vision of these pie in the sky idealists. It’s our hard power that’s running their vision, and they have little idea of how to use it.

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