The administration has been so reactive, so profligate in its use of adjectives and reticent in its use of actual power, it is really—I would use the word 'disappointing,' except it's nothing but what I expect. But it has got to be crushingly disappointing to the people of Syria. Short of a direct military intervention, which I think is not what is necessary at this moment, we can help to create humanitarian corridors, we can offer to join the enforcement of a no-fly zone, we can help support the Free Syrian Army, we can bring together the opposition, and, rather than turning to them and saying, ‘Well, the ball is in your court,’ we can bring them together and actually facilitate their transition, their unity, their articulation of a transition plan, their articulation of principles for a government. And we can help them facilitate the creation of a new government that we can transfer allegiance to. None of these involve boots on the ground. If human-rights violations are important, then surely we should be doing more; if American strategic interests are important, then surely we should be doing more. This is a great strategic opportunity, it is a great humanitarian opportunity, and the United States is acting like we’re Belgium.
Danielle Pletka is VP of foreign and defense policy studies at AEI.