What’s The End Game In Syria?

Hussein Ibish is actively hoping for “mission creep” in Syria in light of America’s new commitment of small arms:

For once, “mission creep” provides the hope of a successful outcome rather than a terrifying threat to a major foreign policy initiative. Typically, American hubris has meant overreaching, and “mission creep” has historically been synonymous with disaster. In this case, a new and uncharacteristic American risk-aversion has been crippling.

Crippling for whom? Not the US. Shadi Hamid figures Obama will have to up the ante soon:

The fact of the matter, and one the administration seems intent on eliding, is that the only way to help the rebels regain the advantage and force the Assad regime to make real concessions is with a credible threat of military intervention through airstrikes against regime assets and the establishment of no-fly and no-drive zones.

We’re told this is not Iraq – because it such a tiny intervention. Okay, then it’s Vietnam, in a country that is as chaotic as Iraq. Meanwhile, a new Pew poll released today shows that 70 percent of Americans are against intervention, though 41 percent of those opposed favor some form of humanitarian action:

The 20% of the public that favors arming anti-government groups in Syria also expresses concerns about the U.S. getting involved. More than half (56%) of those who favor arming rebels agree with the statement that U.S. military forces are too overcommitted to get involved in another conflict, and 55% agree that the opposition groups in Syria may be no better than the current government.

I’ve heard the ludicrous argument that the Obama surrender to the McCain-Clinton-Saudi position will somehow engineer a negotiated settlement with Assad. If anyone believes that, they need their head examined. The more you look at this, the more you realize that the only possible explanation for this is the president’s core weakness. No strategy; no end-game; and now, not even coherence.