Syrian Options

The crisis in Syria is now into its second year, and the death count, now nearing 8,000 according to rebel sources, continues to rise.  Despite public declarations by the Obama administration that Bashar Assad's regime was at an end, it remains unclear exactly what the U.S. is prepared to do, other than conduct diplomatic initiatives, which have been rendered useless by Russian intransigence. While policymakers, and indeed the general public, continue to debate the role of the United States, the Syrian regime continues its bloody work driving rebels from a handful of urban strongholds.  Both private-sector assessments (such as the one conducted by the JCPA) and U.S. officials, such as head of U.S. Central Command Maj. Gen. James Mathis, have concluded that Assad's forces are in the ascendancy against an ill-equipped "Free Syrian Army" (FSA), which is really a disparate group of militias united only by a commitment to Assad's overthrow and by a brand name.  Some FSA...(Read Full Article)