The United States has failed in Syria. Although President Barack Obama and several government officials have said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “must go,” the United States has done little to support the rebels fighting Assad.
In a 22 July letter to Congress, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey listed various military options and strongly argued against U.S. intervention. The principal non-intervention arguments given by Dempsey and some other U.S. political leaders were:
• The United States has no strategic interests in Syria
• Not wanting to give arms to rebel groups that could later use them against U.S. interests
• Military commitment could be open-ended and lead to “boots on the ground”
• U.S. involvement could cost billions of dollars.