Obama's riddle: How to strike Syria without spurring retaliation
"Anyone who claims to have a crystal ball here doesn't," warned Paul R. Pillar, a former senior CIA official with responsibilities in the Middle East. "This does stir the pot in ways that increase the risk or chance of certain things happening, even though one can't place specific odds on it or make a specific prediction."
"This ought to remind people that it is very unlikely that anything we do in a limited way is going to be limited in the way we prefer,'' said Pillar, who now teaches at Georgetown University, in the nation's capital.
Assad's most immediate way to punish American attacks could be to retaliate in a way that drives up oil prices, squeezing the already soft U.S. and European economies.
"There are some real vulnerabilities on Syria's border that hang in the balance,'' said Kilduff, noting a sympathetic bomber in Saudi Arabia could send oil prices soaring. "Any kind of perceived threat to the (Saudi) royal family is just going to raise the security premium mightily.''
If there is a strike, both Assad and Obama must calibrate their responses with an eye toward an end goal. For Assad, it's a basic one: outlasting the insurgents and surviving. For Obama, the matter is more complicated.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Gunman among 3 dead after police storm Australia cafe - 0
- Hostages held in Australia Lindt Cafe, forced to hold Islamic flag in window - 0
- Iraq presses Hagel for greater U.S. military support against ISIS - 0
- Graphic report on CIA interrogations, torture released by Senate Democrats - 10
- U.S., South African hostages in Yemen killed in rescue attempt by U.S. SEAL team - 1
- Islamic State targeted in 17 air strikes by U.S., allies - 0
- ISIS kills US aid worker who had been held hostage - 0
- NH Guard members buoyed by deployment ceremony - 0
- U.S. helicopters return to combat missions in Iraq - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Pinkerton community excited about relationship with Google - 0
- OKC outguns Bonner, Spurs - 0
- Schaller sent back to minors - 0
- Mount Sunapee plan opponents want more hearings - 0
- Former Colonial Theatre finance director indicted - 0
- Circut Court Judge refuses to recuse himself from hearings - 0
- Pipeline push gets a second wind - 2
- Newbies welcome on NH slopes - 0
- Troy welfare officer indicted for misusing town’s money - 0
Pipeline push gets a second wind
Murder suspect fit for trial?
'Interview' buzz spreads to NH