As Bashar Assad toys with the ill-fated United Nations peace plan for Syria, some have called for a U.S.-led intervention in yet another Arab conflict. Some support American action as a strategic opportunity to deal a deathblow to Iran’s favorite proxy; others push on purely humanitarian grounds. But all of them ignore a fundamental reality: Assad is an Arab problem. This is their fight, not ours.
While the hawks here in the U.S. may respond that no country in the region could match the hard-power options at America’s disposal, that doesn’t mean the intervention should fall upon our shoulders. And those who believe America has a moral obligation to act largely assume that an effort intended to be a replay of NATO in Kosovo, 1999, won’t turn into America in Beirut, 1982. By getting too involved, we could very make well make things worse — in a country with chemical weapons, no less.
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