Daudelin: What can the West hope to achieve with a military strike on Syria?

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August 28, 2013
Professor at Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

The West can deter Assad from using chemical weapons again if the strikes hurt him badly enough. The problem is that this will encourage the opposition and will no doubt lengthen the civil war, at significant human cost. Less damaging strikes may not deter him from using chemical weapons again, while too strong a hit could make the regime collapse and deepen the civil war with totally unknown consequences. There are no good options but deterrence is probably the best one. Kosovo, by the way, was a child’s play compared to this one.