Boo-yah! USA USA!! Let’s go stomp some Syria butt. What could possibly go wrong with that? Quite a lot, actually.
I’m a former Army officer with a PhD specializing in national security policy and some 25 years experience in the field. I’ve got a reasonable clue about the nature of the military problem from both the 10,000 feet and the platoon view. But I’ve got only a tangential understanding of the nature of the opposition forces in Syria or the dynamics likely to play out if all the al-Assads were suddenly terminated.
But the cheer-leading for another war, this time against a country with a serious army, continues. Yes, Assad is a thug and a butcher just like his father was. But the US didn’t intervene when his father leveled Hama.
By now it should be achingly obvious that “interventions” can’t be won from the air alone, as many of those foaming at the mouth for war would like to believe. It diidn’t work in Vietnam, Iraq, or Libya and it won’t work in Syria. To win in Syria will require many boots on the ground, some of whom will die. Also, what’s the exit strategy? Oh, that…
Who will bell the cat? And how can this be done? Also, why is this our fight?