I'll keep this short.
Best Case Scenario for Syria:
All international leaders take a tactical pause until there is a UN determination of the chemical attack in Syria. Since chemical weapons are most effectively employed via aerial delivery, an immediate “No-Fly Zone” is established over the entire nation of Syria with specific focus on areas of concern. Turkey and Russia manage the North. Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia manage the South. This course of action provides legitimacy to the Rule of Law by determining if laws were broken, by whom, and puts the disciplinary process in the hands of the international community--without civilian casualties directly caused by the United States.
Not-So-Best Case Scenario:
Using the military equipment sold to Gulf Nations through Foreign Military Sales--Israel, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia conduct military operations to limit the Assad regime and/or the organization responsible for the chemical attack. In the last 12 months, the United States approved the sale of over $30 Billion dollars of military equipment to these Gulf nations to manage regional security issues. They have the capability to manage this situation without the United States’ involvement.
There is a major PR flaw with this scenario. There is virtually a 100% chance of injuring non-combatants with any bombing campaign or airstrike. Because muntions used by Gulf Nations countries are made in the United States, there is also nearly a 100% chance of media showing dead women and children next to U.S. bomb casings, tailfins, and munitions. If you think this won’t happen, take a look at the Yemenese rebels holding U.S. munitions after Saudi attacks. This course of action will unfold negatively for the United States.
Worst Case Scenario:
F*ck it. We ignore the Rule of Law, justify warfare with a slippery slope Authorized Use of Military Force because of the ISIS affiliation with Al Queda (everybody remember that we’re blaming Assad for this attack), and enter another kneejerk war that will waste billions/trillions of taxpayer dollars, burden our servicemen and servicewomen with another unclear conflict without a fully developed strategy, and continue to degrade long term effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy.
This has the potential to be Trump’s JFK moment. Similar to the Cuban missile crisis, we had a brief armed conflict with limited effect that almost escalated into an all out war with Russia. Statesmanship and diplomacy prevailed, saving American citizens from global conflict. We’re at that point again. Will common sense and diplomacy prevail? For the world’s sake, I hope so.
Comment below with your feedback and concerns.
Author: Matt Griffin
West Point Graduate, Army Ranger, Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran, CEO of Combat Flip Flops, 2018 HillVets100 Awardee, 2018 Real Leaders 100 Global Visionaries, 2017 Google Economic Impact Company of the Year (WA)