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Daniel Pipes: The Real Dangers of “Limited Strikes” Against Syria

Writing for National Review Online, Daniel Pipes makes a point about “limited strikes” against Syria that no one in the Obama White House or the neo con claque on Capitol Hill seems to have thought of:
Cruise missile
Warfare is a very serious business whose first imperative is to deploy force to win – rather than to punish, make a statement, establish a symbolic point, or preen about one's morality.”

Although he has often associated with the neo con point-of-view on national security issues, Pipes is exactly right on this.

Setting aside for a moment all other arguments about the propriety of getting the U.S. involved in another Middle East adventure, no one in the Obama White House is talking about “winning” in Syria.

Rather, they make vague statements about sending a signal or perhaps tipping the balance in favor of the Syrian rebels, who may or may not (likely do not) share our interest in establishing Syria as a western-oriented secular democratic state.

As Pipes points out, briefly lobbing American, British, and other missiles over the course of one or two days against fewer than fifty sites in Syria, without “a concomitant readiness to deploy ground troops will neither overthrow the government nor change the course of the war. It will, however, allow Westerners to feel good about themselves.”

But the key point in Pipes’ article is, in our opinion, this: “Bashar al-Assad's notorious incompetence means his response cannot be anticipated. Western strikes could, among other possibilities, inadvertently lead to increased regime attacks on civilians, violence against Israel, an activation of sleeper cells in Western countries, or heightened dependence on Tehran. Surviving the strikes also permits Assad to boast that he defeated the United States.”

We doubt that Obama's “limited strike” or the so-called “surgical and responsible” intervention advocated by establishment Republican Senator Robert Corker of Tennessee has much basis in the reality of what it would take to “secure” one of the largest chemical weapons stockpiles in the world. If we intervene, then someone is going to have to follow-up on the ground to make sure the chemical weapons are secured -- and that someone is logically the American military.

The more likely reality is that Senator Lindsey Graham was telling the truth back on March 19, when he told Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin, "Absolutely, you've got to get on the ground. There is no substitute for securing these [chemical] weapons," he said. "I don't care what it takes. We need partners in the region. But I'm here to say, if the choice is to send in troops to secure the weapons sites versus allowing chemical weapons to get in the hands of some of the most violent people in the world, I vote to cut this off before it becomes a problem."

Such a course of action would play directly into the hands of our radical Islamist enemies. The Syrian civil war has created an entirely new theater for radical Islam to recruit jihadis and to engage them in live fire training. They would like nothing better than to draw the United States into another Middle East killing ground that will sacrifice American lives and further empty our Treasury.

Dragging America into another war in the Middle East so Obama can feel good about himself -- or at least not look like an idiot -- and so Secretary of State John Kerry can preen about his moral superiority doesn’t qualify as a “policy.” It is more like the muddle-headed thinking of a grade school kid explaining how he got into a playground fight, and got whupped.

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limited strikes

More like limited ability to terrorize. You have 9% approval for this war that means the 1% has grown or 8% are terrorists. So you only want to limit Al Qaeda's ability to terrorize Syrian civilians.. Well good then they won't be able to do the amazing feats their that they did here like pulverize three steel sky scrapers to dust particles with two planes. Instead they can forge other WMD like pressure cooker Bombs or maybe Bleach balloons like the thugs here in the US are using. God forbid they get any more American made AR 15's to execute citizens and machetes to behead priests and cut peoples hearts out for dinner. Hear is what I think of this stupid idea...E
cclesiastes 10:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 At the beginning their words are folly;
    at the end they are wicked madness—