Friday, May 27, 2016
A policy nightmare
The nightmare of policy makers is a situation where every option appears bad and there is no good outcome in sight for the foreseeable future, and this seems to describe the situation in Syria. This post by R. Farley on the Obama admin's strategy underscores the point. There are those who have argued that an early U.S. intervention (without ground forces) would have allowed the Free Syrian Army to topple the Assad regime, but (1) this must remain at least somewhat speculative and (2) as Farley points out, the Obama admin had reasons for fearing what might happen in the wake of a rebel victory. J. Stacey, who has made the (necessarily counterfactual) argument about early intervention, also contended that a large UN peacekeeping operation would likely have followed the fall of the Assad regime, but, for reasons I gave in a brief exchange with Stacey at Duck of Minerva, I'm not persuaded of this.