There are press reports that the White House is considering missile strikes on the Assad regime in Syria to punish it for the use of chemical weapons. That is a bad idea for five reasons.
1. The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine is not adequate justification for direct military intervention. This dangerous doctrine, promoted at the United Nations, undermines U.S. sovereignty by arguing for an obligation of nations to intervene. As Heritage’s legal expert on sovereignty matters, Steve Groves, explains:
a doctrine that compels the United States to act to prevent atrocities occurring in other countries would be risky and imprudent. U.S. independence—hard won by the Founders and successive generations of Americans—would be compromised if the United States consented to be legally bound by the R2P doctrine. The United States needs to preserve its national sovereignty by maintaining a monopoly on the decision to deploy diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions, political coercion, and especially its military forces.
2. A vital U.S. interest is not at stake. The U.S. does have an interest in the resolution of the conflict, but military force should be reserved for areas where the U.S. has a compelling need to act in defense of its own interests. There are other and more prudent options for advancing U.S. interests to help resolve the conflict.
3. It would not be a wise use of military force. Military force should be used only if there is a clear, achievable, realistic purpose. Missile strikes are unlikely to deter the Assad regime and prevent further abuses. Rather, the U.S. risks escalating its involvement in the crisis.
Read the Last two at Top 5 Reasons Not to Use Missile Strikes in Syria.