Is the Pentagon unduly influencing American strategy towards Syria? Military analyst Max Boot asks that question in the Washington Post today, and weighs the costs and benefits of remaining on the sidelines:
Aiding the rebels would hardly risk plunging Syria into civil war. Syria is already in a civil war, and it is getting worse. The more pressure we bring to topple Assad, the faster we can end that war and the more influence we can exert with a successor regime.
By contrast, if we stand on the sidelines, worst-case scenarios — such as Syrian chemical weapons falling into the wrong hands or groups such as al-Qaeda developing havens — are more likely to result because of the Assad regime’s inability to control its own territory.