American and Israeli officials say they expect U.S. troops to serve as peacekeepers or monitors on the Golan Heights in the event Israel and Syria conclude a peace agreement. Whether the United States should consent to such a deployment is a momentous question. The issue entails risks to the U.S. troops, including the threat of terrorist killings and abductions, increased likelihood of U.S. involvement in a war if Syrian-Israeli hostilities renew in the future, and an alteration in the U.S. role in the region--in particular, changes in the U.S.-Israeli relationship that could detract from Israel's deterrence capability and harm common interests of the two countries. Only a weighty rationale in favor of the deployment could justify its substantial costs and risks. But proponents have offered no such rationale.
Instead, they belittle the risks and talk generally about the enormous desirability of peace. One can share the enthusiasm for peace, however, without concluding that a U.S. deployment on the Golan would make a necessary or even a positive contribution toward the goal.