[A]bsent American support for intervention, what can Britain or France realistically achieve? They retain some diplomatic clout at the United Nations but unless the United States moves, neither China nor Russia seem likely to be persuaded to lift their objections to foreign intervention in Syria. Even if Moscow and Beijing were to change their minds (an unlikely scenario), the British and French are likely to need American logistical and military support if they're to achieve anything. In this respect, they are not so much writing checks they cannot cash as forging American checks and trusting that Washington will not mind honoring them. This seems a mildly reckless course of action.
Larison doesn't foresee America intervening in Syria anytime soon. Thank Heaven.
(The rubble of a mosque destroyed during fighting between rebel forces and pro-Syrian government troops is seen in Maarat al-Numan, on November 17, 2012. By John Cantlie/AFP/Getty Images)