It’s Syria week. Post use of chemical weapons, some sort of intervention looks more likely than not. We are conflicted. Here to help us make sense of this:

  • The intel that suggests the Syrian regime did it, but unclear command and control
  • George Packer on our inner dialogue about why intervention is necessary but folly
  • James Fallows on the folly part
  • Erica Chenoweth on the history of interventions, again emphasizing folly, here and here
  • Jon Western says not so fast, what is this case of? Bosnia or Iraq? Or something else?
  • Eric Voeten concurs
  • Ian Hurd and Charli Carpenter on breaking international law, Hurd says bomb Syria even if illegal (or make the case for a new legal rule) and Charli reminds us of the high hurdles for an intervention to be considered legal
  • Jonathan Mercer on credibility and reputation and why doing something on that basis would be dumb, David Ignatius thinks otherwise
  • Great Syria thread on Facebook Conflict Research group, mostly against intervention

In case you were wondering about the featured photo on the post.