OTHER OPINION: More than a simple military strike needed in Syria

Excerpted from a Washington Post editorial published Aug. 27

Convinced that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad wielded chemical weapons against civilians last week, the Obama administration is considering a military response, according to senior officials. The “large-scale, indiscriminate use” of chemical weapons was a “moral obscenity,” as Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Monday, and some response is needed. But it needs to be part of a larger strategy aimed at influencing the outcome of Syria’s war.

For more than two years, President Barack Obama has avoided crafting such a strategy.

U.S. military action should be part of a larger strategy to influence the outcome of that country’s war.

The United States can’t dictate the outcome in Syria … The military measures could include destroying forces involved in chemical weapons use and elements of the Syrian air force that have been used to target civilians, as well as helping to carve out a safe zone for rebels and the civilian populations they are seeking to protect.

Such military action should be seen as one component of a policy that finally recognizes a U.S. interest in helping to shape Syria’s future.

The Washington Post