By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
The AP published a letter sent by General Martin E. Dempsey to Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) laying out the United States point of view on intervention in Syria. Engel is the ranking member on the Committee on Foreign Affairs
The letter is dated August 19. It is extremely telling and will no doubt upset those clamoring for US intervention in Syria. Here are some salient points:
"Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides."
"It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not."
"We can destroy the Syrian air force. The loss of Assad's air force would negate his ability to attack opposition forces from the air, but it would also escalate and potentially further commit the United States to the conflict. Stated another way, it would not be militarily decisive, but it would commit us decisively to the conflict."
"The use of U.S. military force can change the military balance." Then Dempsey added. "But it cannot resolve the underlying and historic ethnic, religious and tribal issues that are fueling this conflict."
General Dempsey is correct.
The US should stay out of the fray in Syria. They should help only by sending humanitarian aid which can and will help. There is no way the rebels will support US interests - and it is very possible that even with US interference, Assad will still emerge the victor.
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