Barry Strauss, military historian, prolific author, and chair of the Department of History at Cornell University, says U.S. military action in Syria carries high risks and shouldn’t be pursued.
“The overarching issue in Syria is strategic. Do the United States and its western allies want to intervene militarily and, if so, against whom – the Assad regime or ISIS? – and to what end – with who ultimately in power in Syria?
Or do they want to leave control of the situation to Russia and Iran, now associated with Iraq and the Assad regime? The latter alternative – the U.S. staying out – leaves these other powers greatly strengthened in the Middle East, with consequences both for the region and for the world, especially Europe, where a large portion of the current migrants are fleeing Assad.
The former alternative – the U.S. going in militarily – has many risks and costs. Since the Obama administration is strongly adverse to military conflict, in my opinion it’s best for the U.S. to stay out – for now. The next president will have to reassess the situation.”