American Military Intervention Can't Save Syria
There are no winners in Syria. Its people have suffered horribly and have died or been maimed by the hundreds of thousands. It will take decades at minimum to rebuild a country that was once prosperous by regional standards but has been turned into a wrecking zone—and this assuming that Syria as originally constituted survives, a very iffy assumption, to say the least. An entire generation of Syrians will be affected by the cruelties of this war.
The Syrian people have endured horrors and face challenges beyond comprehension. Yet these tragic realities do not warrant intervention by the United States. Some problems have no solution. Many more lack an American solution, boisterous talk of exceptionalism and the indispensable nation notwithstanding.
Rajan Menon is Anne and Bernard Spitzer of International Relations at the Powell School, City College of New York/City University of New York. He is a senior research fellow in the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. He is the author, most recently, of The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention (Oxford University Press, 2016).