I’d have included this as an update to my earlier post on Syria, except (a) that was already a rather long post, and (b) this really deserves its own spot. Via RCP, Claire McCaskill told CBS’ Bob Schieffer that an American intervention may well include American boots on the ground in Syria:
BOB SCHIEFFER, “FACE THE NATION”: Do either of you at this point think there’s a chance that we would have to put U.S. troops in there or that we would want to?
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-MISSOURI): I don’t think you want to ever rule it out because I think this is, kind of, as — as Saxby said, this thing has really deteriorated, and it’s not really at a tipping point. So I don’t think you ever want to say absolutely not. Obviously, we don’t want to do that unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Earlier in the interview, McCaskill says that the US needs to intervene in order to keep Syria from becoming a failed state where terrorist networks can operate freely. Er, that’s exactly what happened in Libya because of the US and NATO intervention that decapitated the Moammar Qaddafi regime. Thanks to the power vacuum, terrorist networks took over the entire eastern part of Libya, sacked the US consulate in Benghazi, and then nearly toppled the government in Mali until the French drove al-Qaeda back into Libya.
Besides, who exactly does McCaskill think is opposing Assad in Syria? According to the New York Times (which I linked earlier, too), it’s the very terrorist networks that McCaskill wants to keep from gaining control. “Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of,” the Times reports. The only thing worse in this instance than a failed state would be an al-Qaeda-controlled state.
We might be able to prevent that with a large-scale invasion and an equally large-scale occupation that lasts a decade or more, if we can get enough NATO members to come along with us and sell it to a Congress that has been acting as though Iraq was a huge mistake. That would include having to quell any insurgencies from Jabhat al-Nusra or related groups, along with fighting Hezbollah again. Anyone up for that kind of commitment? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?