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Brookings Institute: Syria Intervention Will Be Costly

March 20, 2012 by  

Brookings Institute: Syria Intervention Will Be Costly
In a recent report, the Brookings Institute examines U.S. options in relations with Syria.

U.S. military intervention in Syria could require between 200,000 and 300,000 U.S. troops on the ground at a cost of up to $300 billion per year to American taxpayers, says a new report  from the Bookings Institution Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

Though there has been no talk of a strategy involving invasion of the country yet, the organization points out the difficulties associated with President Barack Obama’s goal of removing Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.

The report discusses invasion as one of six ways that Obama’s goal could be met, including:

1. Removing the regime via diplomacy,

2. Coercing the regime via sanctions and diplomatic isolation,

3. Arming the Syrian opposition to overthrow the regime,

4. Engaging in a Libya-like air campaign to help an opposition army gain victory,

5. Invading Syria with U.S.-led forces and toppling the regime directly,

6. Participating in a multilateral, NATO-led effort to oust Assad and rebuild Syria.

The report contends that no matter which course of action were followed the cost to the United States would likely be great and that the options that would come at a lesser cost to the United States are also those most likely to fail.

“At the end of the day, however, removing Assad may not be doable at a price the United States is willing to pay,” the report states. “Although the Obama administration has for months called for Assad to go, every policy option to remove him is flawed, and some could even make the situation worse — seemingly a recipe for inaction.”

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • s c

    Oh, goody. We get to be in yet another war. It’s safe to say that Obummer fancies himself a leader because he just can’t stop interfering in the name of democracy (plus, the ends justify the means).
    Is a war with Mexico still on the table? It’s a lot closer than Syria, folks. And, his ‘advisors’ probably have already told him that we can whip Mexico in 30 days or less (think of the media reviews). Who would have thought America could have someone in the W H who combines the talents of the best warmongers with the talents of the worst politicians?
    Old Rome is alive and well in Washington (whether we want it or deserve it or not). So are we stuck with a Caesar or a Nero? Either way, we’re screwed, America.
    Progressives, you own him – or does HE own YOU?

    • Vigilant

      As of March 15th, “Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the United States does not have a responsibility to intervene in the conflict in Syria. Similar percentages oppose the U.S. and its allies bombing Syrian military forces to protect anti-government groups, as they did in Libya, and sending arms and military supplies to those fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad.” (

      Between this and the rising cost of gasoline, Obama may indeed be a one-term president.

      • John Illinois

        Vigilant, Obummer needs to be a less than 1 term President. Unfortunately, the Republican party is so co-opted that the backbone necessary to start the process of indicting Obummer and convicting him in a timely manner is beyond their abilities.

      • jimster

        Similar percentages opposed obama care, that did not stop him.

      • http://naver samurai

        We do not need to go there. If anyone should go, it should be France. They were once a French Colony. We are overextended enough as it is. FOR GOD AND COUNTRTY!

      • James

        Vigilant, why would Obama be only a one-termer? Americans opposed what President Bush was doing and he was re-elected. Forty-nine percent of U.S. citizens are wholly or partially dependent on the federal government for their income. Obama has promised to continue that largess, which in my opinion will get him re-elected.

    • Sirian

      Are you sure that Obummer isn’t a bit more like Caligula? No, then again?????

      • http://naver samurai

        More like Nero. He is definately fiddling while we burn. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

    • jimster

      Looks like if we go to Syria we will be fighting the Russians as they just showed up there to support the government.

  • Sirian

    We need not involve ourselves in Syria – let them destroy themselves. The ones that are primarily concerned over this, shall we say – civil war – is Iran, Russia and The Muslim Brotherhood. One way or another, their goal to achieve the return to an all-encompassing, total Caliphate is will be sought at any cost.

    • James

      Sirian, how do you propose stoping the federal goverment from their war-making?

  • Jose Rodriguez (@changeingyou)

    Why don’t they just let Israel pay for it. They are the ones who have maintained communism and dictators with US Taxpayer money since WWII. Bribed Mubarak, Gaddaffi, Castro to get GOP votes from Florida, Assad making Syrians think he is anti Jewish, lol

    • Vigilant

      That comment is what people of normal IQ call “completely off base.”

      • Sirian


      • eddie47d

        No more than your Caligula comment Sirian although Jose’s was very odd. Israel needs to maintain it’s borders and stop looking for” new and improved” border lines. We didn’t like Saddam sneaking into Kuwait so why do we put up with Israel sneaking into the West Bank against the peace treaties. I don’t want to see any American troops in Syria and would oppose any incursion and if Israel would attack Syria it may be a good time to end our friendship. The same if they peremptorily strike out at Iran. Now if Iran or Syria attack Israel then our ally should be defended. I have despised the Assad clan for decades yet look what happened in Iraq with the disposal of Saddam. That country isn’t any more stable now than it was 20 years ago.

    • http://naver samurai

      Have we become drunk on the kool aid? It is a fact that China has been lining the liberal’s pockets since the Clinton/Gore days. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!


    The only way that middle eastern countries are going to become democratic is for us to strengthen our own nations Constitutional Law and make this Republic a haven, refuge and shinning example of inalienable rights under the providential guidance set forth by our own founding fathers. We the governed are the consensus of our elected representation, We the people need to be constantly reminded that we were given the obligation to repair, maintain and defend this Constitutional Republic so that we can pass it intact along to our future generations.

    By doing the proscribed, we can encourage others to follow in our footsteps and give the quality of freedom to their own lives as we continually do to garauntee our own.

    • James

      Ontime, that’s what we did, and are doing, and thtat’s what is bringing about our downfall. You can’t mix many dozens of cultures and expect them to get along. Major Hasan, when faced with warring against his own people, turned upon Americans, at Ft. Hood, Texas, and blasted away. Multi-culturalism doesn’t work.

  • ranger hall

    ONTIME, Seems like you are making sense, History shows us Isreal has been a problem since who knows when. I think ww1 and ww2 had something to do with the Jews, also Afganistan war was a lead up to the war with Iraq.
    I KNOW every time some one says something about the Jews HE gets in trouble, Just ask MEL, You would think the jews control Hollywood, Or is it Jewwood.
    Oh thats right they have a Country(we gave them) But the Other People dont need a Country.

  • Jay

    On July 15, 2010, Democrat Charles Rangle introduced a piece of legislation into Congress that would basically reinstate the draft (compulsory military service). H.R. 5741 will give the President of the United States the power to require all American citizens between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform either military service or civilian service in the interests of “national defense and homeland security.” It would also give him the power to require citizens to join the military during wartime to meet the manpower needs of the military.

    In February 2009, President Barack Obama asked Congress to send him a bipartisan bill
    in favor of “national service.” Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel outline a plan similar to H.R. 5741 in his book The Plan.

    Under this new legislation, nearly every American will be forced into two years of military or security service. Even conscientious objectors will be unable to avoid this new draft. Instead, they would have to choose noncombatant or civilian service, which will be defined by the President.

  • chuckb

    put our troops into syria?? fox news reported russian troops are on the ground in that country, wouldn’t that be a delimma for barry and the muslim brotherhood.

  • s c

    Is it me, or did I not see ANY utopians praising Obummer for thinking about getting involved in a WAR in Syria? Geezy peezy, folks. Does that mean Obummer has finally over-stepped his alloted quota for international arrogance?
    Is this utopian love affair over? Have newbie utopians not been programmed well enough? WTF?
    Where are you, utopians? Silence is highly significant. Where art thou, utopians?

    • James

      s c, We were conned into believing that Iraq was responsible for 9-11. President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair concocted a ruse that indicated Iraq had WMD and thereby convinced Congress to authorize the invasion of Iraq. That has progressed to where we are now, the intervention in Libya was carried out without any congressional authority at all. Defense Secretary Panetta said they will look for a coaliton of forces that agree on warring with Syria, and then maybe inform Congress about what they intend to do. It’s as if the Executive Branch has an agenda of its own. It certainly doesn’t recognize that the power to declare war was vested in Congress, not the Executive Branch.


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