THE case for America to intervene in Syria's civil war is rather straightforward. Barack Obama has repeatedly said that the use of chemical weapons crosses a “red line” for America. The regime of Bashar Assad seems to have used such weapons. As we argue in the paper, America “will no longer be much of a force at all” if it sits on the sidelines while its red lines are crossed. Responding to the use of chemical weapons with only finger wagging will do nothing to discourage their further use, either within Syria or outside her borders.
Yet there are also strong arguments against unleashing America’s military might too casually. The tactical picture is tricky. According to Juan Cole of the University of Michigan, “Syria has stockpiles of chemical weapons, the exact position of which is unknown; indiscriminate bombing raids on Syrian military facilities could release those chemicals on civilian populations.” Even the Continue reading