So You Want To Go To War In Syria To Depose Assad. Can You Answer These 14 Questions First?
INSIDE NATIONAL SECURITY BRIEFING: Pres Trump w natl security team inside SCIF at Mar-a-Lago after Syrian strike, Thursday ~915p EDT. pic.twitter.com/tuqbjEKERv— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) April 7, 2017
Until these questions are answered with specificity, and until the U.S. government is open and honest with the American people about the potential risks and likely costs of a war to remove Assad from power in Syria, it makes little sense to discuss the idea further.
- What national security interest, rather than pure humanitarian interest, is served by the use of American military power to depose Assad’s regime?
- How will deposing Assad make America safer?
- What does final political victory in Syria look like (be specific), and how long will it take for that political victory to be achieved? Do you consider victory to be destabilization of Assad, the removal of Assad, the creation of a stable government that can protect itself and its people without additional assistance from the United States, etc.?
- What military resources (e.g., ground troops), diplomatic resources, and financial resources will be required to achieve this political victory?
- How long will it take to achieve political victory?
- What costs, in terms of lives (both military and civilian), dollars, and forgone options elsewhere as a result of resource deployment in Syria, will be required to achieve political victory?
- What other countries will join the United States in deposing Assad, in terms of military, monetary, or diplomatic resources?
- Should explicit congressional authorization for the use of military force in Syria be required, or should the president take action without congressional approval?
- What is the risk of wider conflict with Russia, given that nation’s presence and stake in Syria, if the United States chooses to invade and depose Assad, a key Russian ally in the Middle East?
- If U.S. intervention in Syria does spark a larger war with Russia, what does political victory in that scenario look like, and what costs will it entail?
- Given that Assad has already demonstrated a willingness to use chemical weapons, how should the United States respond if the Assad regime deploys chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons against the United States?
- Assuming the Assad regime is successfully removed from power, what type of government structure will be used to replace Assad, who will select that government, and how will that government establish and maintain stability going forward?
- Given that a change in political power in the United States radically altered the American position in Iraq in 2009, how will you mitigate or address the risk of a similar political dynamic upending your preferred strategy in Syria, either in 2018, 2020, or beyond?
- What lessons did you learn from America’s failure to achieve and maintain political victory following the removal of governments in Iraq and Libya, and how will you apply those lessons to a potential war in Syria?
- Worth reading: The Alawites - why Syria is so bloody and complex
- I grant that Assad is wicked and there is a massive humanitarian crisis there
- But will US involvement improve the conditions there? What about for the 2M "Christians" in Syria?
- Self-test: Would you go and fight there? Your son? Your grandson?
RAND PAUL: Another unconstitutional rush to war... https://t.co/I5YJsFFIaf— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) April 7, 2017