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

DOJ Reaches Agreement For Oversight Of Albuquerque PD

The deal follows a Justice Department report released in April that showed the city’s police used excessive force in dealing with many suspects.


Ukrainian troops camouflage their multiple rocket launcher at a checkpoint in Kryva Luka, in eastern Ukraine, earlier this month. The U.S. says Russia is planning to provide similar systems to the rebels.

U.S.: Russia-Based Artillery Targeting Ukrainian Troops

The State Department says it has evidence that Moscow is lobbing artillery across its border at Ukrainian government forces, and that the Kremlin plans to ship rocket artillery to the rebels.


Arturo, the only polar bear in Argentina, lives in captivity at a zoo in Mendoza. The plight of the "sad bear" has spawned more than 400,000 signatures on a petition to get him moved to a "better life" in Canada.

Zoo In Argentina Says ‘Sad Bear’ Too Old To Go To Canada

The plight of the nearly 30-year-old polar bear, who lost his enclosure mate two years ago, has attracted attention from well-wishers the world over who want him moved.


Barbed-wire fence surrounding a military area is pictured in the forest near Stare Kiejkuty village, close to Szczytno in northeastern Poland. The CIA ran a secret jail on Polish soil, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday.

European Court Rules Against Poland In CIA ‘Black Sites’ Case

The European Court of Human Rights said Poland broke the European human rights convention by allowing the CIA to imprison and torture two terrorism suspects in secret prisons on its soil.


An employee looks at a Russian foreign passport at the U.S.  Embassy in Moscow.

U.S. Database Glitch Delays Passport, Visa Processing

The problem in the U.S. State Department system could cause problems for millions of people worldwide who are awaiting travel documents.


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