There are two points of approximate consensus regarding the U.S. government’s Syria strategy. First, the U.S. should not send American troops to become directly involved in the fighting. All across the political spectrum in the U.S., among hawks and doves, the national sentiment strongly opposes sending U.S. forces to fight on the ground in Syrian battlefields. America is tired of sending its soldiers to die in Middle Eastern conflicts. The boots-on-the-ground option is off the table barring a dramatic development.
The second point of growing agreement is that the Obama administration’s current approach to the Syrian conflict is a failure.
President Barack Obama has gone through a number of phases in dealing with what is now the world’s greatest humanitarian catastrophe since the war in Rwanda. He called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. He threatened to bomb if Assad used chemical or biological weapons, and he even announced he had decided to strike after Assad crossed Obama’s “red line” by using chemical weapons. Then came the dramatic climb-down from that position in exchange for a deal for Assad to get rid of his chemical weapons, which Assad, as many predicted, has not yet done.