The Syrian civil war could end suddenly with the fall of Assad. But it could also widen with Turkey and Hezbollah becoming directly involved, and Russia, Iran and Iraq sending military aid to prop up their ally. The whole region could go up in flames.
Yet what vital American interest is there in who rules in Damascus to justify yet another U.S. war in the Middle East?
While the Assads are despotic, George H.W. Bush made the father an ally in Desert Storm and Ehud Barak offered to return to Hafez Assad the Golan Heights in exchange for a peace deal. If America has a vital interest in this multisided war, that interest is served by staying out, as we have done for its duration. And how exactly have we suffered by not plunging in?