Pentagon Details Options for U.S. Military Action in Syria

America’s highest-ranking military officer on Monday provided congress with the first detailed list of options for military intervention in Syria and their associated costs. In a letter to Sen. Carl Levin...
America’s highest-ranking military officer on Monday provided congress with the first detailed list of options for military intervention in Syria and their associated costs. In a letter to Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, laid out a range of operations — including training and advising the rebels, carrying out long-range strikes against military targets, establishing a no-fly zone, creating a buffer zone, and securing Syria’s chemical weapons sites — that would likely “further the narrow military objective of helping the opposition and placing more pressure on the regime.”
The options themselves are not new, but this was the first time the Pentagon has explicitly described the challenges and costs associated with each. Striking Syrian military targets, for example, would cost “billions” of dollars and require “hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines and other enablers.” Securing the country’s chemical weapons stockpiles, meanwhile, would demand thousands of ground and special operations forces, and cost more than $1 billion per month.
But implementing any of these options, Dempsey warned, could pull the United States into another war. “Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next,” he wrote. “Deeper involvement is hard to avoid.”
Breaking: Every Military Option in Syria Sucks



Egypt: The family of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy on Mondaythreatened legal action against the military for holding him incommunicado and without charge in an undisclosed military facility. At a news conference in Cairo, the son of the deposed leader told reporters: “We will take all legal procedures, locally and internationally, against [Defense Minister] Abdel Fattah Sisi, who abducted President Mohamed Morsy.” Meanwhile, clashes on Tuesday between supporters and opponents of Morsy left six dead in Cairo

Middle East
  • Iran’s supreme leader said Monday that he was not optimistic about reaching an agreement with the United States on the nuclear issue, adding that the Americans are “unreliable and illogical.”
  • As many as 500 to 600 prisoners, including numerous members of al Qaeda, escapedfrom Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq on Monday, after militants launched an assault to free them.
  • Turkish authorities on Tuesday shot and killed a civilian trying to cross the border into Syria.
Africa
  • Police in Uganda arrested leading opposition figure Kizza Besigye on Monday, alleging that he planned to stage illegal political rallies.
  • Mali’s interim president met with the leaders of two Tuareg separatist groups on Monday, ahead of national elections scheduled for this weekend.
  • A new report found a gradual decline in the incidence of female genital mutilation in more than half of the 29 African and Middle Eastern where it is traditionally practiced.
Americas
  • Pope Francis arrived in Rio de Janeiro on Monday for his first trip to his native Latin America since being selected as pope.
  • Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduromet on Monday and agreed to set up high-level groups to discuss energy, trade, and security.
  • Gunmen opened fire on a group of community vigilantes in the western Mexican state of Michoacan on Tuesday, killing five and wounding seven.
Asia
  • Myanmar’s government said Tuesday that it plans to release 73 political prisoners to honor the commitment made by President Thein Sein on his recent trip to Europe.
  • The death toll from a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that struck China’s western Gansu province on Monday has risen to 54 people, with hundreds more injured.
  • Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday that he hoped the United States and Afghanistan would reach long-term security agreement by October.
Europe
  • The EU on Monday called for the release of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy, who is currently detained at an undisclosed military facility, and for new democratic elections.
  • A Greek court on Monday sentenced three bank officials to jail terms of up to 10 years for failing to protect their staff during a fatal arson attack by austerity protesters in 2010.
  • The Duchess of Cambridge on Monday gave birth to a baby boy, who weighed in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces.

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