Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Syrian Quagmire

Much talk today about how horrible it is that someone, probably the Assad regime, used Sarin nerve gas killing 70+ people including many children in Syria. Talk that the U.S. is likely to become militarily involved in regime change.

Honestly, I hope some new thing comes along to shift our focus. Do we really want to get into nation building in Syria? The U.S. is poor at nation building and Syria presents zero good choices. Nobody in Syria is halfway sane except the minority Kurds, and the Turks hate them.

I very much hope Trump can find a way to respond militarily which stops short of regime change. Remember, the Pottery Barn Rule: if you break it, you own it. If we topple Assad, we have to run Syria. We don't want to run Syria, we broke Iraq and that was bad enough. It's still a mess, arguably our mess.

I suggest using our air power and cruise missiles to destroy the Assad regime's air power, mostly I gather helicopters. That should make their use of chemical agents considerably more difficult.

Assad would still have Russian air power fighting for him. However, I doubt Russians would be willing to deliver chemical weapons - too much downside.

If going forward no nerve gas is used, we can go back to mostly ignoring Syria. Let the Iranians and Russians bog down there, they seem to care.