The US Doesn’t Have Any Good Military Options In Syria

Business Insider Australia
By Michael Kelley
April 29, 2013

There is evidence that troops loyal to Syrian Bashar al-Assad have used chemical weapons, and U.S. lawmakers are urging President Obama to respond.

But it’s not that simple.

The military options range from one-off missile strikes on infrastructure linked to chemical weapons, to carving out no-fly zones, and even as far as putting 20,000 U.S. troops in Jordan for a ground invasion.

All carry risks. Invasion has it’s obvious drawbacks (which the U.S. learned in Iraq), and establishing a humanitarian area in the north by destroying Syrian air defenses and artillery may have the same effect.

Once you set up a military no-fly zone or safe zone, you’re on a slippery slope, mission creep and before you know it, you have boots on the ground,” Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and Middle East expert at the Brookings Institution, told Reuters. “Or you end up like Libya where you don’t really have a control mechanism for the end-game, should you end up with chaos.” …

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