It’s accepted, that once you break something. You own it. Such is the situation in Syria. Currently, there is a civil war going on. The governmental forces are walloping the rebels. (maybe) The stated preference is that we will “send a message” by destroying/damaging a bunch of military hardware that probably came from Russia, to sort of “level the playing field,” but there are consequences.
Currently, Russia bears responsibility for the deaths of the Syrians. Arguably, Russia probably does not lose much sleep over what the “crazy Syrians” choose to do. If we want to fix the situation, figure out how much it would cost to occupy the region, and kill hostiles. We probably don’t want to do this. We care about what other people think about us. We likely won’t destroy the chemical weapons stockpiles. We probably won’t level city blocks worth of buildings. Maybe leveling city blocks worth of buildings should be what should be done to ensure that the cost of war is felt, and allow for urban renewal. But war is never pleasant. Yet people are rebelling against Assad. Arguably, some want to follow the teachings of Shi’a Islam, while others have other ideas. Maybe the Syrians will realize that the cycle of war is not worth it in the long run.
On a positive note, the talk of war kind of removes the talk of the budgetary concerns about saving money by reducing services. Austerity indeed.