February 7th, 2012
07:28 PM ET

FIRST ON CNN: U.S. military beginning review of Syria options

By Barbara Starr

Although the U.S. focus remains on exerting diplomatic and economic pressure on Syria, the Pentagon and the U.S. Central Command have begun a preliminary internal review of U.S. military capabilities, CNN has learned.

The options are being prepared in the event President Barack Obama were to call for them. Two senior administration officials who spoke about the review to CNN emphasized that U.S. policy for now remains the use of non-military options.

The focus on diplomatic options was underscored by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.

"Before we start talking about military options, we very much want to ensure that we have exhausted all the political, economic and diplomatic means at our disposal," Ambassador Susan Rice said on CNN's “Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

The president has also said that the U.S. is working on non-military options first.

"I think it is very important for us to try to resolve this without recourse to outside military intervention, and I think that's possible," Obama said in an interview with NBC News that aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

But the military is beginning to look at what can be done.  One of the senior U.S. officials called the effort a “scoping exercise” to see what capabilities are available given other U.S. military commitments in the region.

Both officials pointed out that this type of planning exercise is typical for the Pentagon, which would not want to be in the position of not having options for the president, if and when they are asked for.

It would be Gen. James Mattis, head of U.S. Central Command, who would provide details on what U.S. military assets are available, what missions they could perform if asked, and what risks U.S. forces might face.

“The Pentagon is closely monitoring developments in Syria.  It wouldn’t be doing its job if it didn’t put some ideas on the table,” one of the senior U.S. officials told CNN. “But absolutely no decisions have been made on military support for Syria.”

The two officials were not willing to be identified because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Typically those types of options are held by the Pentagon as very preliminary plans and not even forwarded to the White House unless asked for. If asked, plans are then fleshed out with specific units to support them.

In this type of analysis being done, the military would typically look at all options ranging from humanitarian relief, to support for opposition groups, as well as outright military strikes, although that is an unlikely option, both officials said.

“This remains a campaign to apply economic and diplomatic pressure,” the first official said.

The military’s work to analyze potential military options for Syria has been quietly going on for several weeks, two administration officials confirm to CNN. The bulk of the analysis is being done by staff of General Mattis, who would be the senior commander if the President were to order any action.

Mattis’ analysis is being shared with General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who would then present options to the White House, if it came to that.

“We don’t want to be in the position of suddenly dusting off some five year old plan,” one official said.  The official emphasized the work is extremely preliminary but said the military would look at a full range of contingencies.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the Armed Services committee, told reporters Tuesday that the U.S. should consider "all options including arming the opposition."

But U.S. officials said that adding weapons into the volatile and violent situation is not a viable option.

"We never take anything off the table. The president does (or) doesn't. However, as the president himself made absolutely clear and as the secretary has continued to say, we don't think more arms into Syria is the answer," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

soundoff (2,382 Responses)
  1. Address Verification API

    Thanks for writing this kind of content that actually adds some value to the reader's knowledge. I learned a lot after reading this topic because I was looking for something that can teach me on this matter. Once again thanks and kudos to the writer.

    https://diro.io/proof-of-address-verification/

    July 31, 2021 at 7:13 am | Reply
  2. start a merchant processing company

    Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article
    together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time
    both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    June 30, 2021 at 7:56 am | Reply
  3. weed edible gummies

    Very good article. Great.

    https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/marketplace/top-3-best-delta-8-thc-gummies-weed-edibles-for-sale/

    June 30, 2021 at 6:17 am | Reply
  4. pharmaceptica

    best erectile herbs https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 29, 2021 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  5. best slim diet pills amazon

    If you would like to obtain much from this paragraph then you have to apply such techniques to your won weblog.

    June 29, 2021 at 7:43 am | Reply
  6. www.pharmaceptica.com

    evolution peptides tadalafil https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 9:40 pm | Reply
  7. pharmaceptica.com

    erectile lump https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  8. we buy ugly house

    I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my
    problem. You are incredible! Thanks!

    June 27, 2021 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  9. Crowdpoint

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should write
    more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but typically
    folks don't talk about such topics. To the next!
    Cheers!!

    June 27, 2021 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  10. pharmacepticacom

    buy sildenafil 20 mg tablets https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 4:16 am | Reply
  11. buyingsnowthrowerbrands

    Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I'm getting sick and tired of WordPress because I've had problems
    with hackers and I'm looking at alternatives
    for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of
    a good platform.

    Also visit my page; buyingsnowthrowerbrands

    June 26, 2021 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  12. download casino videos

    Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely useful info specially the final phase :
    ) I maintain such info much. I used to be looking for this certain info for a long time.
    Thanks and good luck.

    June 25, 2021 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  13. https://cuocsongquanhta.webflow.io/posts/thuoc-uong-trang-da

    The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad
    and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just
    so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed
    and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it
    with someone!

    June 25, 2021 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  14. i need to sell my house asap

    This site definitely has all the information and facts I needed
    concerning this subject and didn't know who to ask.

    June 25, 2021 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  15. www.pharmaceptica.com

    20 mg sildenafil cheap https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 9:27 am | Reply
  16. www.pharmaceptica.com

    chloroquine natural sources https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 7:49 am | Reply
  17. vegetta 777 sky wars

    Acting being a guest blogger allows the writer to create relevant backlinks to specific blogs.
    Publish the blog with RSS feed and allow others a
    subscription for your informative article content.

    June 25, 2021 at 4:00 am | Reply
  18. mobile dedicated slot

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to
    be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. All the best

    June 24, 2021 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  19. https://sites.google.com/site/221ntmk/thuoc-tang-noi-tiet-to-nu

    all the time i used to read smaller articles which also
    clear their motive, and that is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading
    at this place.

    June 24, 2021 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  20. сайт

    That’s a killer pic bro
    http://moto4Ek.ru/

    June 24, 2021 at 9:56 am | Reply
  21. сайт

    You have a great smile.
    http://8209.adminka.cc/

    June 23, 2021 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  22. content marketing company

    I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This paragraph
    posted at this web page is truly pleasant.

    June 23, 2021 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  23. Phuket Hotel Deals

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for
    Phuket Hotel Deals

    June 23, 2021 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  24. www.pharmaceptica.com

    tadalafil price at walmart https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 11:05 am | Reply
  25. trẻ tốt nhất hiện nay

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site so
    i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to
    improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

    June 23, 2021 at 4:30 am | Reply
  26. Automatic Backlinks

    Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on. Any
    suggestions?

    June 23, 2021 at 2:25 am | Reply
  27. check here

    Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the
    issues. It was truly informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

    June 22, 2021 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  28. сайт

    You are so creative!
    http://visitsalekhard.ru/

    June 22, 2021 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  29. pharmaceptica.com

    sildenafil prescription https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  30. instagram takipci satin al

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren't loading properly.
    I'm not sure why but I think its a linking issue.

    I've tried it in two different browsers and both show the same
    results.

    June 22, 2021 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  31. сайт

    God made the world in six days, rested on the seventh, but it took him thousands of a long time to create somebody as flawless
    as you.
    https://www.mokraya.com

    June 22, 2021 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  32. https://gamewin88slot.blogspot.com

    It's appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term
    and it's time to be happy. I have read this publish and if I may just I desire to counsel you
    few attention-grabbing things or tips. Perhaps you can write next articles
    regarding this article. I want to read more issues approximately it!

    Also visit my website :: slot gamewin88 (https://gamewin88slot.blogspot.com)

    June 22, 2021 at 2:46 am | Reply
  33. 메이저놀이터

    108165 451623Aw, this became an incredibly good post. In notion I would like to set up writing like that moreover – taking time and actual effort to generate a terrific article but what / issues I say I procrastinate alot by means of no means appear to get something completed. 351655

    June 21, 2021 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  34. www.pharmaceptica.com

    tadalafil cost https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 4:05 am | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Leave a Reply to rearden215


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.