"In war there is no substitute for victory" -- General Douglas MacArthur
"Prolonged indecision is never a just aim of war" -- same source.
Yet those are both the apparent aims of President Obama, at least according to the authority for using military force as spelled out in the Syria war resolution the president sent to Congress.
In, "What Obama could learn from Lincoln about Syria," I wrote,
Mr. Obama may think he is waging limited, brief war against Assad, but there is no reason for Assad to think so. This war will not be over until Assad, not the president, says so. Why should Assad feel any restraint at all in responding or planning a response? Why should we think that just because we have stopped bombing that Assad will also agree the US-Syria War is over?
A war is ended only when both sides say so. In Assad's view, this war can continue for many years to come and he can strike back at America when and where he wants.It easy to think that a war is "brief and limited" when all you are doing is throwing unmanned cruise missiles at targets, coupled perhaps with standoff weapons launched from bombers. But when you are the chief of state of the country on the receiving end of America's brief and limited war, you are unlikely to agree that you are obliged to to respond either briefly or within limits.
I hope the Congress understands that Syria's Assad may take the Bluto point of view.
Assad has shown no measurable restraint in seeking destruction of his enemies. It will get worse for the rebels before it gets better. And it may not get better for them even if America wars upon Syria.