Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Only Legitimate Target

Photo: César

If you believe the regime is culpable.

Face it,  a few dozen or few hundred Tomahawk missiles aren't going make much of a difference one way or another, especially when one would do.

Mind you, I'm not advocating assassination of a foreign leader,  this would be a decapitation strike on the Syrian Military Command & Control Authority... the fact that he is a foreign leader is entirely coincidental.

Unless willing to use thermobarics and accept the resultant high collateral damage,  the chemical weapon stores are not a realistic target.  Attacking the airfields and military bases accomplish little in the way of thwarting future chemical weapon use, although they may have a remote chance of prompting the military to remove Assad (My guess - slim to none).  Attacking infrastructure only causes the Syrian people to suffer further deprivations.

The only logical target to hold Assad responsible for the use of chemical weapons is Assad himself.  It would require good and timely intelligence or a mass attack against known residences and bunkers, would be difficult to pull off, but even a miss sends a powerful message.  You are not immune to reprisal.  It is doubly effective if delivered along with the message that in case of a miss, we will try again... and again... and again.  Not saying when, not saying where.  The psychological stress of not know when the next Tomahawk is going to come streaking out of the sky would be enormous.

Frankly, I believe that the only thing that could happen in Syria in favor of US interests would be a military coup.  We may not want Assad in charge,  but I don't think we want the rebels in charge either.  As someone else once said about Syria, it's a lose/lose situation.

Note that I preface this with "If you believe the regime is culpable", I'm not saying it is and I'm not saying it's not.  Obviously, this is not the answer if you believe the rebels culpable,  although if it was a rebel group I'm not sure what we could do about it... support Assad?

What are your thoughts?

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