Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Ready to go to war in Syria?

The fellas over at the Foreign Policy Initiative seem eager to intervene in Syria. They’re proposing establishing "a safe zone" that would be protected by a "no fly zone." They don’t go into details of whether there would be boots on the ground. The board of directors are Eric Edelman, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, and ...

Adam Dean/Panos Pictures
Adam Dean/Panos Pictures
Adam Dean/Panos Pictures

The fellas over at the Foreign Policy Initiative seem eager to intervene in Syria. They're proposing establishing "a safe zone" that would be protected by a "no fly zone."

They don't go into details of whether there would be boots on the ground.

The board of directors are Eric Edelman, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, and Dan Senor. I know some of youse will get upset by those names, but I think the first three are some of the most thoughtful conservative interventionists around. (I don't know Senor well. I think I have only met him once or twice and have never read much of what he has written.)

The fellas over at the Foreign Policy Initiative seem eager to intervene in Syria. They’re proposing establishing "a safe zone" that would be protected by a "no fly zone."

They don’t go into details of whether there would be boots on the ground.

The board of directors are Eric Edelman, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, and Dan Senor. I know some of youse will get upset by those names, but I think the first three are some of the most thoughtful conservative interventionists around. (I don’t know Senor well. I think I have only met him once or twice and have never read much of what he has written.)

Personally, I am sick of Americans being involved in wars in the Middle East. I don’t like this plan of keeping on trying ’til we find we all like. That said, I find it a bit awkward to explain why I thought it was the right thing to help intervene in Libya but not in Syria. I find David Ignatius persuasive (as usual) on why we should do more than we are doing, but less than Foreign Policy Initiative recommends.  

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.