Another round of heavy-handed speeches pushing the White House’s narrative came and went today, and analysts now widely believe the US attack will happen over the Labor Day weekend, and potentially could begin in a matter of hours.
There’s little left to suggest the administration might wait, as they aren’t planning to allow a Congressional vote on the war for fear they’ll say no, and say they don’t have any intention of waiting for the United Nations to finish the actual investigation into the Jobar incident for fear it might disprove their allegations.
Efforts to drum up international support have failed, and there doesn’t seem to have been much thought given to actual strategy, meaning there’s little reason to expect the administration to carefully time the strikes, except to make them soon enough to preempt Congress and the UN.
US warships in the Mediterranean are expected to be at the center of the military operation, at least initially, firing cruise missiles at targets inside Syria. There are significant dangers surrounding the planned strike, not the least of which being that intelligence officials concede they don’t know where a lot of Syria’s chemical weapons are stored, and the attack might hit a stockpile and cause a humanitarian disaster.
The big question once the attack begins is how long the Pentagon will continue to be able to lob missiles at Syria during the ongoing budget shortfalls without seek some special funding from Congress, which will likely be reluctant to rubber stamp funding for the war after being kept out of the authorization stage.