Special Forces on the ground, the only way to fight in Syria, writes Andrew Slater, former Special Forces officer.
Amidst all the recent discussion of an American military response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against rebel forces, there lies a second, less-discussed red line: under what conditions would the White House employ U.S. ground forces, as opposed to a purely airpower-based campaign, in Syria, and what role would they play?
Putting aside political considerations for the moment, it is still reasonable to presume that the scale and nature of our involvement in Syria would less resemble Iraq or Afghanistan than Libya or Kosovo. But while a colossal operation like the invasion of Iraq is thankfully unimaginable, it is possible that the White House may decide to place special operations forces (SOF) on the ground in Syria. Conventional wisdom would view this as an escalation over a "bombs only" approach to U.S. involvement, but considering a limited, special operations ground force could inject sanity, clarity, and urgency to the policy debate and serve as a counterweight to the prevailing drone war logic and its false sterility.