Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey recently detailed to Congress a plan for a “low end” war on Syria centering around a no-fly zone, saying it would cost $1 billion a month on average and might have little impact on the ongoing civil war there.
The underlying message was that it’s a bad idea, something that Pentagon officials have reiterated several times before Congressional committees. But if you’re going to fight an unwise war, why not save a little doing it?
That’s the message from Rep. Eliot Engel (D – NY), who is now pressing Dempsey to draw up a cheaper option in which the US war against Syria just amounts to hucking cruise missiles at the country every once in awhile, saying it “would come at lower cost to taxpayers.”
Eliot has advocated intervention for some time, pushing resolutions to arm Syrian rebel factions on the grounds that regime change would “undermine” Iran. He had also previously argued in favor of the no-fly zone, which seems to be falling out of favor more because of its cost than the foolishness of starting such a war in general.