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. Rodney

    Hello to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this website, and your
    views are nice for new visitors.

    my webpage; vwin สล็อต

    November 25, 2020 at 11:58 am | Reply
  2. Whitney

    Hey would you mind letting me know which webhost you're utilizing?
    I've loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.

    Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a fair price?
    Cheers, I appreciate it!

    Also visit my webpage: Linksys Router Setup

    November 25, 2020 at 6:23 am | Reply
  3. Helen

    Wonderful blog! I came across it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on the way to get indexed in Yahoo
    News? I've been trying for some time having said that i
    never appear to get there! Thanks

    Feel free to visit my homepage – mini composition notebooks bulk

    November 25, 2020 at 1:35 am | Reply
  4. Jasper

    I am really loving the theme/design of your web site. Do you
    ever run into any browser compatibility problems?
    A handful of my blog audience have complained about my
    site not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera.
    Do you have any advice to help fix this issue?

    Look into my site :: cara daftar idn poker

    November 24, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  5. Gladys

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are
    added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same
    comment. There has to be a means you are able to remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

    my page :: Search engine rank checker

    November 24, 2020 at 3:59 am | Reply
  6. Megan

    Thanks for one's marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading
    it, you happen to be a great author.I will always bookmark your
    blog and will come back someday. I want to encourage you continue your great
    job, have a nice holiday weekend!

    my page sjbphoto

    November 23, 2020 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  7. Fausto

    Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i
    own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it's driving me mad so any assistance is very much

    Also visit my web-site: https://cuocsongquanhta.webflow.io/posts/thuoc-tri-yeu-sinh-ly-nam

    November 23, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  8. Eleanore

    What's Happening i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I've discovered It positively useful and it has aided me out loads.
    I hope to contribute & assist different customers like its aided me.
    Great job.

    Feel free to visit my web blog หวย

    November 23, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Reply

    Yikes this definitely takes me back, i’ve been wondering about this subject for a while.


    January 28, 2020 at 2:16 am | Reply
  10. Cara Mengobati Penyakit Kuning Pada Ayam Bk

    there are tanning lotions which are very hard on the skin, i always use organic tanning lotions*


    January 17, 2020 at 6:53 am | Reply
  11. Sherrie Peart

    fungicide shampoo


    November 1, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  12. Apex Legends

    You're so cool! I do not believe I've truly read something like that before. So good to discover somebody with a few original thoughts on this issue. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    May 11, 2019 at 2:32 am | Reply
  13. профессиональный эротический массаж

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!


    April 21, 2019 at 2:58 am | Reply
  14. Sales Leads

    Appreciating the dedication you put into your blog and detailed information you present. It's awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same outdated rehashed material. Excellent read! I've saved your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google account.


    February 28, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  15. Entrepreneur Leads

    Wonderful post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Bless you!


    February 20, 2019 at 10:32 am | Reply
  16. Ruth Daigle

    I am glad to be a visitant of this everlasting web site, regards for this rare information!

    January 14, 2019 at 9:07 am | Reply
  17. Cbd Cream

    How many people could possibly believe in that sort of thing? How are you able to stay up to date with the current data when the world is constantly changing? Spot on with this posts. Really sorry to bother you, but I might have many more questions we would like answers for. After seeing this I screamed at the sky and my eyeballs exploed.


    December 29, 2018 at 4:44 am | Reply
  18. new fast food franchise opportunities

    Admiring the dedication you put into your blog and in depth information you provide. It's great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same outdated rehashed information. Wonderful read! I've saved your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google account.


    June 4, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  19. Stuart Schwingler

    I'm crazy about fashion. I enjoyed your blog and hope to see more soon.


    May 24, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  20. Qualified Leads

    Admiring the hard work you put into your blog and detailed information you present. It's good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same out of date rehashed information. Great read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google account.


    May 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  21. best gym franchise opportunities

    I'm really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A few of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue?


    May 8, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  22. Asbestos Watch Adelaide

    hello good site i will definaely come back and see again.


    February 20, 2018 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  23. trick photography and special effects ideas

    you are really a great webmaster. The web site loading speed is incredible. It appears that you do any sort of exceptional technique. Likewise, The details are masterpiece. you have done a fantastic job on this topic!


    January 21, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  24. Raquel Krumholz

    The moment I imagined about points like: why such information is for free here? Any time you create a guide then a minimum of on promoting a book you will get a percentage, mainly because. Thank you and great luck on informing persons much more about it.


    January 20, 2018 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  25. Launa Chappelear

    I think this is certainly an informative submit and it can be knowledgeable and quite handy. I'd prefer to thank you for that efforts you've produced in writing this informative article.


    January 20, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  26. Greg Montierth

    This can be an awesome study for me personally, Must admit that you just just are amongst the top bloggers I ever saw.Thank you for posting this information.


    January 19, 2018 at 5:43 am | Reply
  27. Franchise Opportunities

    Appreciating the commitment you put into your website and in depth information you present. It's good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same unwanted rehashed material. Great read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google account.


    January 9, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  28. Sales Leads

    I'm really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A couple of my blog audience have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?


    December 13, 2017 at 11:51 am | Reply
  29. Buyer Leads

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back very soon. I want to encourage you to continue your great job, have a nice afternoon!


    December 13, 2017 at 10:23 am | Reply
  30. electric wheelchair

    Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, excellent blog!


    December 2, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  31. Jesse Grillo

    Colors seem brighter when you are around. Your website has a certian feeling about it. Thanks again. I saw your article on my Instagram feed. I needed this.


    September 4, 2017 at 2:28 am | Reply
  32. technology adviser

    You are a very persuasive writer. great read. I was reading your article while camping.


    September 1, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  33. press release

    This actually answered my problem. Any additional suggestions or hints? It is like you wrote the book on it or something. Son of a gun! You are my savior.


    September 1, 2017 at 8:33 am | Reply
  34. Jesse Grillo

    My pleasure to being here on your post. Very nice write up. I was talking to my mom on Tuesday when I discovered your site.


    August 31, 2017 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  35. CEO adviser

    Top Google experts would love your blog. Great tips and very easy to understand. You are more fun than bubble wrap.


    August 30, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  36. Rene

    What's up it's me, I am also visiting this website regularly, this website is really pleasant and the users are genuinely
    sharing good thoughts. http://www.usaeagleeye.com/component/k2/itemlist/user/41640

    August 30, 2017 at 9:00 am | Reply
  37. escape room corinth


    August 29, 2017 at 12:51 am | Reply
  38. sabun gove

    gove | sabun gove


    July 22, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  39. delacruz97

    I don't agree, look at:
    – Towanda

    June 27, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  40. Jospeh

    Gracias por detallar este tema que llama muchísimo a mi curiosidad. La verdad es que es difícil encontrar buenos consejos en este tema.


    May 22, 2017 at 9:22 am | Reply
  41. Shu Skar

    【アウターソール】合成底(ウレタン)【アッパー】本体:合成繊維製(ラッセル構造)補強:人工皮革製 プレート:合成樹脂製(ナイロン) スパイク:金属製(鉄)アンツーカー用12mm/取り替え式【その他】 付属品:シューズ袋・ハンドル・ピンカバー バイパースパイク使用可能。 ドクターマーチン スニーカー レディース


    April 2, 2017 at 12:05 am | Reply
  42. Thao Yahraus

    Thanks a lot for giving everyone an extremely superb chance to read critical reviews from this web site. It is often so great plus jam-packed with fun for me and my office fellow workers to visit your blog not less than 3 times every week to see the fresh stuff you will have. Not to mention, we're usually motivated concerning the eye-popping ideas you give. Certain 1 points in this posting are definitely the very best I have ever had.


    March 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  43. Tyson Grabinski

    Hi there, I would like to subscribe for this website to take hottest updates, so where can i do it please help.|


    February 13, 2017 at 7:00 am | Reply
  44. Zoe Palczynski

    its fantastic as your other content : D, thanks for posting.TubeSync


    February 12, 2017 at 11:53 am | Reply
  45. Latia Presas

    This site is mostly a walk-by means of for all the data you wished about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and also you’ll positively uncover it.


    February 7, 2017 at 8:09 am | Reply
  46. Valentine Gillem

    Wow, marvelous weblog structure! How long have you been blogging for? you made running a blog glance easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, let alone the content material!


    January 31, 2017 at 1:31 am | Reply
  47. scrapebox blast

    I want to have a secret blogspot page, but some people I know have been able to find my URL via a Google search...is there a way I can prevent this? I don't want anyone to be able to realistically find the URL unless I give it to them. . . (Please don't suggest that I switch to another blog site.) . . Thanks!.


    January 6, 2017 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  48. Vaughn

    thanks for tyhe great info


    December 21, 2016 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  49. Dental Surgery

    Listen. I can really express that I have located a few magnificent information listed here inside this website about everything I needed. This was definitely eye opening. Remember to sustain with fantastic perform and provide extra handy facts similar to this. Thanks. PS It is possible to also find outstanding quite similar website content on http://www.articlecity.com/articles/health/article_3999.shtml


    December 6, 2016 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  50. Ressie Ahlin

    My spouse and i felt really cheerful that Raymond managed to round up his homework through your precious recommendations he received in your web pages. It is now and again perplexing to just choose to be giving for free tips which usually the others might have been trying to sell. And we all figure out we've got the writer to be grateful to because of that. These illustrations you made, the simple web site navigation, the friendships you make it possible to promote – it is all awesome, and it's really assisting our son in addition to us reason why that concept is thrilling, and that's tremendously serious. Many thanks for the whole lot!


    December 2, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  51. Clayton Baham

    https://www.facebook.com/Pro-Fishing-Tricks-942433785889565/ fishing knots for fluorocarbon


    December 1, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  52. Melinda Dowtin

    https://www.facebook.com/Pro-Fishing-Tricks-942433785889565/ fishing the midwest instagram


    December 1, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  53. продажба апартамент софия

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.


    November 30, 2016 at 4:58 am | Reply
  54. продажба имоти софия света троица

    There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.


    November 26, 2016 at 8:29 am | Reply
  55. Maybell Pfoutz

    Many thanks for the noteworthy blog you've set up at security.blogs.cnn.com. Your enthusiasm is definitely contagious. Thanks again!


    November 22, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  56. Marcelo Branski

    I like this website so much, saved to my bookmarks. “American soldiers must be turned into lambs and eating them is tolerated.” by Muammar Qaddafi.


    November 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  57. Automotive

    Apple already incorporates Rhapsody as an app, which is a suitable start, but it is presently hampered by the incapability towards retail store locally upon your iPod, and contains a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this alterations, then it will rather negate this usefulness for the Zune, nonetheless the 10 audio for each month will continue to be a large moreover within Zune Pass' like.


    November 15, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  58. Katia Suennen

    hello there and thank you on your info – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here. I did alternatively expertise some technical issues the usage of this web site, as I skilled to reload the site lots of times prior to I may just get it to load correctly. I have been puzzling over if your web hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading cases times will sometimes impact your placement in google and could injury your high quality ranking if ads and ***********|advertising|advertising|advertising and *********** with Adwords. Well I am including this RSS to my e-mail and could glance out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this once more very soon..


    September 29, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Reply
  59. my website

    The Zune concentrates on getting a Portable Media Player. Not a internet browser. Not a game machine. Potentially within just the potential it will do even much better inside of people elements, nevertheless for now it is a Great way toward prepare and pay attention in the direction of your songs and motion pictures, and is with no peer inside that respect. The iPod's strengths are its internet checking out and programs. If these stable even more persuasive, potentially it is your easiest determination.


    September 20, 2016 at 6:24 am | Reply
  60. website

    Zune and iPod: Utmost folks assess the Zune towards the Touch, nonetheless right after viewing how slender and incredibly tiny and light-weight it is, I take it in the direction of be a pretty special hybrid that brings together traits of each the Contact and the Nano. It's exceptionally vibrant and attractive OLED show is a little bit scaled-down than the contact screen, however the player alone feels Really a bit scaled-down and lighter. It weighs over 2/3 as a lot, and is significantly smaller sized in width and peak, whilst staying merely a hair thicker.


    September 19, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  61. blog

    you are truly a excellent webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible. It sort of feels that you're doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have done a fantastic process in this topic!


    September 2, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  62. Don Naftzger

    that’s good, thanks for your share,.. I think this is great blog


    August 28, 2016 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  63. Irwin Cisneros

    hi!,I like your writing very so much! share we keep up a correspondence more approximately your article on AOL? I require a specialist on this space to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you! Having a look forward to peer you.


    March 26, 2016 at 3:27 am | Reply
  64. gluten free dublin

    I conceive you have mentioned some very interesting points, regards for the post.


    February 4, 2016 at 4:58 am | Reply
  65. furtdsolinopv

    Sweet site, super design and style, very clean and use genial.


    April 29, 2015 at 7:57 am | Reply
  66. Manual Coulas

    I totally agree with what you are saying eventhough this report is not suit to new WP 🙂


    January 18, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  67. icons designs

    This idea is necessary just by the way

    November 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  68. Jadem Illsleyp

    Hi everybody, I be familiar with YouTube video contains less bytes of memory due to that its quality is poor, but this YouTube video has fantastic picture quality.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  69. bisnis internet

    Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my site so i got here to return the want?.I am trying to find issues to enhance my website!I assume its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    June 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  70. searchengine

    Great post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I am inspired! Very helpful information specifically the ultimate phase 🙂 I handle such info a lot. I used to be seeking this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  71. komputer

    Heya i'm for the first time here. I came across this board and I to find It really helpful & it helped me out much. I'm hoping to offer one thing again and aid others such as you helped me.

    May 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  72. Micheal

    I'll right away grab your rss feed as I can't to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you've any? Kindly permit me recognize in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    May 26, 2012 at 5:55 am | Reply
  73. Pardeep

    Nice article thanks you..

    May 17, 2012 at 2:23 am | Reply
  74. hvac units

    Incidentally, there appears to be a little bit ofspam on the site. All the same there is still plenty of very good info here!

    April 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  75. Raven Leftwich

    Looking forward to reading more. Great article.Really thank you! Want more.

    April 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  76. Sale RV

    Hi, Neat post. There's a problem with your website in internet explorer, might test this? IE still is the marketplace leader and a huge element of other people will pass over your fantastic writing due to this problem.

    April 16, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
  77. raise credit score

    Excellent items from you, man. I have remember your stuff prior to and you're just extremely fantastic. I actually like what you have bought here, certainly like what you're saying and the way in which by which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you continue to care for to keep it smart. I can't wait to learn far more from you. That is really a terrific site.

    April 16, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
  78. like for facebook

    I savour, result in I found exactly what I used to be looking for. You've ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

    April 15, 2012 at 8:30 am | Reply
  79. amitrptyline side effects

    Awesome idea, I'm loving the picture at the top, gives it a cool TCAs feel to the site!

    April 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Leave a Reply to Physicist


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.