Initially Limited Strikes Aim to Avoid Serious War Debate
Discussing the matter in a 40 minute phone call on Saturday night, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed in principle to start attacking Syria within the next two weeks. France, long calling for such a war, is also reportedly in on the idea.
British officials familiar with the situation say that they didn’t rule out seeking UN support for the war, but also don’t expect to actually get that support, and are prepared to ignore the UN and attack anyhow.
The initial attacks are expected to center almost entirely around missile strikes on “command and control” areas, from the US warships which have been moved into the area in the past few days.
Britain is said to be particularly eager to get the attacks going quickly to avoid having to deal with the prospect of parliament voting on the war, and possibly preemptively rejecting the attack. They are also hoping to keep the first strikes very limited to justify not consulting parliament ahead of time.
Limited strikes seem to be the preference of US officials as well, as many are reluctant to see Syria’s rebels actually swept into power by the attacks, even though they seem entirely comfortable to commit themselves to protracted military involvement in the nation.
The question of war debate in the US seems to be entirely beside the point, after President Obama managed to get the US into a Libyan War without even the obligatory after-the-fact Congressional authorization. The polls show the American public still opposed to war as well, but that clearly doesn’t matter to the administration.