Secretary of State John Kerry, and then Obama not long after he finished, publicly hyped their “common sense” case for attacking Syria, insisting they have an unassailable case for attack that no one (except virtually the whole rest of the world) could disagree with.
But what’s the strategy? That’s where it gets tricky, as the administration lays out a plan of attack that seems incredibly vague at best and in many ways absurdly naive.
Officials are content to start lobbing missiles into Syria seemingly just for the heck of it, underscoring that they aren’t planning to accomplish anything on the ground with their strikes except for some sort of explosive-based rebuke of President Assad.
Pentagon officers have been unusually public in faulting the scheme as well, suggesting that even those “in the know” don’t like what they’re seeing of this war planning, and prompting officials to condemn the comments as “deeply unhelpful” as they’re trying to sell the war to the American public.
Analysts see this as a bad situation that could quickly get much, much worse, as just because President Obama doesn’t have any plans to do any more after the first salvo doesn’t mean the US can quickly enter and exit the protracted civil war without a major risk of retaliation, and of getting sucked into the conflict outright.