The wisest strategy? Engaging in military attack against Syria to make the point about chemical weapons against civilians being unacceptable behaviour? The risk is hitting the Assad regime hard and giving the advantage to even less desirable terrorist rebels, maybe even allowing the weapons of atrocity to fall into their hands, right?
Make the objective to bash both heads equally hard, disable both their offensive capabilities with minimal human collateral and … if not entirely successful in one wave and the prospect of boots on the ground returns? … make the mission a smash and grab (Entebbe style) to seize the offending weapons (even one batch thereof, to show we intend to if we can) and get out fast. Leaving the chastened parties behind to “sort yourselves out like civilised humans”. If you have to redraw borders to satisfy religio-tribal family differences, get on with it – we’re still watching you.
We don’t choose sides, aim for a regime change, we simply level and civilise the playing field. And we can (should be) blue-helmets, not another imperfect nationally allied self-interest. Maybe we even suggest the Russians and/or Chinese do the smash and grab, with perhaps greater local cooperation ?
Hopefully Obama is already on the phone to Putin.
[And what’s the worst that could happen?]
Time to get creative, not cowardly.