Nation & World News

What’s Next In Syria? A Sampling Of Opinion

By Scott Neuman on August 31st, 2013

As a U.S. military strike on Syria looks increasingly likely in the next few hours or days, various publications are weighing in on what such an attack would accomplish and what would happen next.

Here’s a sampling of opinion:

The BBC’s Tara McKelvey says:

“The US military would most likely use Tomahawk cruise missiles for an attack on the Syrian government forces. These missiles are now stored on destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean.

“The missiles would not be fired at places where chemical weapons might be stored, since poisonous gas could spread or chemical agents could fall into the wrong hands.

“Instead, military facilities would be targeted — radio centres, command posts and missile launchers, says Douglas Ollivant, who served as an operations officer with the Army’s Fifth Cavalry Regiment in Iraq.

“The initial military operation would be fast.”

NBC’s Richard Engel outlines several options, with the one of “doing nothing” seeming increasingly unlikely, the other two are

The ‘do little option’ of “launching a symbolic strike, destroying a few arms depots and runways” that is accompanied by “strident warnings” from American officials saying “that if chemical weapons were ever used again, there would be greater punishment next time.”

The ‘do a little more’ option: “Rebels would certainly be encouraged by strong U.S. military strikes, especially if they carry on through two to three days. The strikes could help the rebels advance.”

“But they could also create a false optimism, a belief that the regime is collapsing when in fact it is not.”

Or the ‘do a lot’ option of attacking military targets in Syria “in a major way” – an option that seems to be predicated on the type of international cooperation that seems to be lacking after the British Parliament rejected London.

Stephen M. Walt, writing for Foreign Policy, says:

“It’s still not clear what positive objectives a limited use of force would accomplish. It won’t tip the balance inside Syria or drive Bashar al-Assad from power. It’s not even clear that punitive strikes would do much to reinforce the norm against chemical weapons use, as any leader contemplating the use of these weapons in the future is probably going to be in pretty dire straits and might not care if some foreign power might retaliate. Moreover, the American people are clearly not interested in getting into this war, and Obama and the Dems could pay a big price if retaliation goes awry in any way.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Kenneth Bae, an American tour guide and missionary serving a 15-year sentence in North Korea, speaks to The Associated Press on Monday. Bae and two other detained Americans urged the U.S. to send a high-level emissary to secure their release.

3 Americans Detained In North Korea Urge U.S. To Secure Their Release

The State Department said the men should be released out of humanitarian concern and asked that Kenneth Bae, who has been held for two years, be granted amnesty.


The Flight Of The Passenger Pigeon, Now 100 Years Extinct

Passenger pigeons were once the world’s most abundant bird, but they were also the cheapest protein available. The last passenger pigeon, Martha, died exactly a century ago at the Cincinnati Zoo.


British Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons on Monday that he wants to give police the power to seize the passports of Islamist fighters bound for Iraq and Syria.

U.K. Seeks To Expand Terrorism Laws To Target British Fighters

Prime Minister David Cameron wants to give police the power to seize passports of Islamist fighters bound for Iraq and Syria. On Friday, Britain raised its threat level to “severe” from “substantial.”


The first edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the original hero Golden Egg from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on display at Profiles In History in Calabasas, northwest of downtown Los Angeles, on July 19, 2012.

For Anniversary, A New Chapter Of ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’

The chapter describes the Vanilla Fudge Room, an extra room in the chocolate factory. In it, Charlie Bucket goes to the factory with his mother – not his grandfather. The book turns 50 this month.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called Monday for a cease-fire in Ukraine, but demanded that Ukrainian troops leave positions from which they can "harm the civilian population." His comments come ahead of talks in Minsk, Belarus, involving Ukraine, Russia, Russia-backed separatists and international monitors.

Pro-Russia Rebels Say They Will Settle For Autonomy In Ukraine

It’s a step back from the full independence they were seeking and may reflect a Russian desire to end the crisis, which has led to Moscow’s worst ties with the West since the end of the Cold War.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments