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Or Do We Do Pinpricks, After All?

The strike on Syria that the Obama administration has been talking about is perhaps not “unbelievably small,” as John Kerry said, but rather unbelievably unachievable. Here’s the Wall Street Journal on Syria’s Unit 450, “a branch of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center that manages the regime’s overall chemicals weapons program”:

The U.S. wants any military strikes in Syria to send a message to the heads of Unit 450 that there is a steep price for following orders to use chemical weapons, U.S. officials said.

At the same time, the U.S. doesn’t want any strike to destabilize the unit so much that it loses control of its chemical weapons, giving rebels a chance to seize the arsenal.

Ah, of course, a Goldilocks-zone strike on a dictator’s chemical-weapons handlers (located at as many as 50 separate sites) in the midst of a civil war. Now, why didn’t the administration just explain it that way in the first place.



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