US intervention in Syria unlikely

While few dispute that the crisis in Syria has reached a critical decision point, there is an ongoing debate in policy circles about the wisdom of intervention. However, US officials have increasingly indicated that is unlikely.

The Obama administration has signaled its wariness toward intervention and arming opposition forces.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that intervention would not occur without UN backing and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday laid out the case against military action.

Writing in Time magazineFareed Zakaria argues against intervention citing geographical difficulties (including concentrated populations), the uncertainty surrounding the opposition forces cohesion, and the geopolitical implications of taking assertive action.

“The Obama Administration is rightly trying to approach this problem with as many  allies as possible. It is also correct in trying to persuade Russia, if not to  join the coalition, then at least to ease its objections to sanctions,” he contends.

Former presidential candidate and US Senator John McCain has called for firmer action, including air strikes against Syrian forces.

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