No. of Recommendations: 10
My take.

The combatants on either side do not have America's best interests in mind regardless who wins. Oh, there may be a few. A very few. In essence, we have bad guys fighting bad guys. On one side, you have the regime's troops and Hezbollah. The other is Al Nusra/Al Qaida. Secular forces, what they are/were, are minimal. Pick a side. One's allies are bad guys.

Here's a political map of Syria:

Most of the fighting . . . if not all . . . is being conducted within 50 miles of the coast and Syria's western borders. Palmyra being an exception. Some fighting slipped into the borders of northern Lebanon.

What to do? Isolate. We have treaty allies in the region. Definitively Turkey (NATO) and Israel (bi-national). Probably a bi-national treaty of some sort with Jordan. And then Iraq. It's too far east from the fighting for spillover. Lebanon is in the same general basket with Syria. Too bad.

What you currently have is an internal fight/civil war. Stay out of it. Want to help from a humanitarian perspective? Set up refugee camps in the border countries. They're already flowing in. Assist in creating a popular government in absentia. Perhaps Syrians will tire of killing each other and would welcome them in. Don't count on it.

Want to go after a chem caravan in the open on the roads in Syria? Go for it! Wait! What's the collateral damage? Are you taking sides? How will such an attack be perceived? Will the bombs burn it sufficiently so it is not a threat to civilians? Is it out in the desert where dispersal of the chems can dilute to the point of no longer being a threat?

Look. Just isolate. No more. No less. Stay out of it. Only use military force if there is an imminent threat to surrounding countries. At this point in the war there is no other credible option.
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