The US is engaged in extensive planning and preparations for a post-Assad Syria, largely without telling the American people, in the hopes that they can secure a smooth transition in the event their proxies in the rebel militias topple the regime.
The preparations for a post-Assad Syria are the logical next step after having adopted an official policy of regime change, as the Obama administration and its allies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have by supporting internal revolt.
According to the New York Times, “the State Department and Pentagon are quietly sharpening plans to cope with a flood of refugees, help maintain basic health and municipal services, restart a shattered economy and avoid a security vacuum in the wake of Mr. Assad’s fall.” But these departments don’t exactly have the best record on that score, Iraq being only the most recent and infamous failure.
What the Times didn’t mention about these plans is the effort in Washington, most likely ongoing, to find a replacement for the Assad regime that they find suitable to their interests. As has been clear from the beginning, Washington’s interests – not the humanitarian crisis – has been of paramount concern and the Obama administration is sure to exploit Syria’s power vacuum for its own benefit.
There are also some plans for contingent military options for NATO to intervene, with broad goals like securing weapons stockpiles or maintaining security. But these are mostly a pretext to complete the task of eliminating Iran’s close ally in the region.