Using Syria to Get to Iran
3:29 PM, Mar 7, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Josh Rogin reports on the debate over whether the U.S. should intervene in Syria, where strongman Bashar al-Assad is killing and torturing his own citizens. Rogin discusses the views of Senators John McCain and Carl Levin, and then writes this:
This particular point offered by Mattis is worth considering, especially given recent debate over how to deal with Iran--and how to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons and capabilities. Intervention in Syria could be used as a way to destabilize their close ally, the Iranians.
As former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy said at a security conference in Herzliya last month:
Whether the Obama administration decides to act ... well, that's a different story.
The administration is saying that no option is off the table. "Yesterday, President Barack Obama said that no option in Syria has been taken off the table," Rogin reports. But this is the line that comes before the president's in Rogin's report: "In his testimony, Panetta clearly ruled out any unilateral military action by the United States in Syria, but he left the door wide open to a multilateral mission inside Syria at some later date."
So all options are on the table--except for unilateral action. Or, more precisely it would seem, the administration is not really sure what it's going to do about Syria, or if it's going to do anything at all.