President Obama called the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria a “grave concern,” and according to the New York Times top government officials had a long meeting to discuss potential actions. From the NYT:

The day after a deadly assault in Syria that bore many of the hallmarks of a chemical weapons attack, a sharply divided Obama administration on Thursday began weighing potential military responses to President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Senior officials from the Pentagon, the State Department and the intelligence agencies met for three and a half hours at the White House on Thursday to deliberate over options, which officials say could range from a cruise missile strike to a more sustained air campaign against Syria.

The meeting broke up without any decision, according to senior officials, amid signs of a deepening division between those who advocate sending Mr. Assad a harsh message and those who argue that military action now would be reckless and ill timed.

After all this time I still don’t have any idea what our endgame is supposed to be in Syria and that’s something that needs to be clearly explained to the public before any use of military force.

It seems a powerful but very small echo chamber in the Beltway is pushing to “do something” simply because we need to “do something” to prove we can/will “do something.” A circular logic where taking action becomes a justification in its own right.

At this point I think Mr. Assad knows we don’t like him. A big action to destroy all his capacity and/or try to kill him could at least serve some possible endgame goal. Simply blowing up some stuff to send a “message” though seems like the worst possible action, expensive face-saving and posturing without a plan.

I just hope the administration remembers that American people overwhelmingly don’t want their country to become militarily involved in Syria.

Photo by Tjebbe van Tijen under Creative Commons license