February 13th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Three military options for Syria

By Michael O'Hanlon – Special to CNN

As the violence worsens in Syria, the United States and international community are in a dilemma. Even more serious than the recent veto by Russia and China of a U.N. Security Council resolution criticizing the regime of Bashar al-Assad, there are no great options for how to respond.

The various Syrian factions and populations are far too interspersed for a Libya-like operation to work. Al-Assad and his army are far too strong, still, for a simple and small peacekeeping mission to succeed. It would be opposed by the regime if it tried to enter the country. And if we invaded, the specter of an Iraq-style imbroglio would loom given Syria’s size and given the multitude of nefarious actors there.

That leaves three main types of possible military options. All are limited in scale and scope; therefore, all promise only mediocre results. I do not favor any just yet, and we should only consider them in the event of strong Arab League and NATO support and participation. But if the situation continues to worsen, we cannot look idly by, either.

Read about the three options on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS blog

Filed under: Military • Syria • Turkey
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Fanta Pants

    @Military3.... And youre probably scratching your head wondering why the Middle East has been and is such a cauldron of concern for the rest of the world. Ever thought that your own small, misguided, retarded view points on the world and the people that inhabit it may have something to do with it? Like it or lump it, Syria is going down the path that other nations did during the Arab Spring, get used to it early.

    February 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  2. Erik Lipscomb

    well whats the three type of scenarios? WTF? what kind of article is this? you should be fired...waste of my time. next time write a full story instead of What ifs with no information to back up your claims...

    February 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  3. miitary3

    these rebels and protesters are paid by Israel to cause destruction in Syria they just ignited it now its a wildfire killing innocent Muslims on both side while the west and the Israel laugh at them while their purpose of destroying Muslims is going as planed and just to show they r also human not wolves in sleeps clothing are criticizing the true peace lovers who are just trying to restore peace in their country

    February 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  4. miitary3

    we dont care if asad kill millions those protesters are pro western and pro Israel they deserve to die like dogs

    February 13, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • dominator

      Don't worry son – your day will come.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
  5. mipolitic

    there is an option of doing nothing. to deploy a un peace keeping force is going to be faced with engaging assad forces to protect themselves. and this will result in assad civilian supporters being killed by un peace keepers , and the result of that will be civilians against civilians which inturn cause a long latsing conflick. to put un forces in this is either going to result in many peaces keepers being restrained and deaths amongst the peaces keepers or assad noncombatants supporters being killed. securing the boader with israel is important , assad could try to devert the eyes of the world from him to israel by causing an international incident by striking tel aviv which would result in israel defending themselves and we all know what that would result in. iran has a small number forces aiding assad. and would not this be an arab problem, so why would not the arab league pay the bill both with their troops and their coin? hint , irans future power if it gets a nuke

    February 13, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply

    Bashar al-Assad off over using his power, to cause menace n populic disturbance every now and then. If drastic solution are not taking to curb d problem, then great people will over stayed their welcum. On earth

    February 13, 2012 at 1:38 am | Reply

Post a comment


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.