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Paul R. Pillar – More Neocon Excuses to Bomb Syria

The complicated, multidimensional nature of the Syrian civil war continues to discourage clear thinking in debate about U.S. policy toward Syria. The involvement in the conflict of multiple protagonists who are each anathema to the American debaters but who are opposed to each other within Syria is a fundamental complication that too often gets ignored.

Basic questions of what U.S. interests are in Syria too often get overlooked. A recent example is an op-ed by Dennis Ross and Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that argues for a bombing campaign against the Assad regime and expresses opposition to any cooperation with Russia in striking violent extremist groups such as ISIS and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.

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