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My Reaction to Obama’s Syria Policy

will be forthcoming once I figure out what the hell the policy is.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    The only advice I can offer is the same as I gave after a State of the Union message. Turn off the sound. Just look at the body language.

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  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    I see what you did there.

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  3. Barfour says:

    I think the US should do what it can to make the war in Syria end as soon as possible simple because the people in Syria are suffering too much. Even those that have fled to other countries are suffering. I actually don’t know what the US or any country can do to end this war.

    My question to you, James, is: if you were someone like the Secretary of State or the National Security Advisor, what would your advise to the president be, on Syria?

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  4. matt bernius says:

    @Barfour:
    Or a slightly different build: James, you clearly (and many of us think rightly) objected to this idea. But if you had to implement this order, (broadly) how would you implement it?

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  5. James Joyner says:

    @Barfour: @matt bernius: My preference is to stay out of it. While I get the humanitarian angle, I’m not sure how we create a good outcome. And having Hezbollah and al Qaeda on opposite sides of a shooting war isn’t a bad thing.

    Forced to “do something,” I’d do as little as possible. Maybe supply comms and intel. But I still don’t understand how we’re going to pick good guys in this thing. And, even if we know how to do that, there’s very little chance that our guys wind up running the show.

    I’m highly confident that we can oust Assad, quite possibly without losing any American lives. But, as Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya have demonstrated: Then what?

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  6. DC Loser says:

    Stoking the flames of a Shia-Sunni war is going to have some really nasty unintended consequences, like a spillover of the war into Lebanon, Iraq, and maybe even the Gulf States like Bahrain with its simmering Shiite majority under despotic Sunni rule.

    IMHO, we’re doing this at the urging of neocons and Israeli Firsters, who want to do everything in their mind to protect Israel from the spillover of the conflict next door.

    Heck, what can go wrong?

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  7. stonetools says:

    @James Joyner:

    And having Hezbollah and al Qaeda on opposite sides of a shooting war isn’t a bad thing.

    Except that Hezbollah is winning. If Hezbollah wins outright, it’s a bad thing.

    Forced to “do something,” I’d do as little as possible. Maybe supply comms and intel. But I still don’t understand how we’re going to pick good guys in this thing. And, even if we know how to do that, there’s very little chance that our guys wind up running the show.

    If the goal is to just bleed Iran (and Russia), then picking good guys isn’t vital. And Libya shows that its possible that our guys will wind up on top.

    I’m highly confident that we can oust Assad, quite possibly without losing any American lives. But, as Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya have demonstrated: Then what?

    May not be all that critical, if the goal is just to keep Russia and Iran out.

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  8. Dazedandconfused says:

    You clearly have no intention of ever working for the WaPo, or most any other major publication, sir. Facts are slow, cumbersome, and tend to be inconvenient. FIDO.

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  9. Lounsbury says:

    @stonetools:

    I fail to see how Hezbullah ‘winning’ is a bad thing. There is no chance that Assad and Hezbullah can achieve anything more than what was achieved in Lebanon (if that): an uneasy dominance. Hezbullah and the Assad regime sitting on top of a bubbling Sunni majority that views them as oppressive sectarians is a pure loss for Hezbullah relative to any ability to engage in further warfare or destabilisation. Unlike wargames / video games, this is permanent, winning the battle is the end of their problems, it is in fact (as the Americans learned in Iraq) merely the start.

    Already they have lost their image with Sunni commentators and in the Mashreq, population, and a ‘victory’ will only further undermine.

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