Quote notes (#24)
Adam Garfinkle makes an obvious point beautifully:
… whatever the Administration has said about the purpose of an attack being to “degrade and deter” Syrian capabilities, but not to change the regime, everyone expects the attacks to be modest and brief, thus not to much affect the battlefield balance, and once ceased to stay ceased. That is because the Administration’s reticence at being drawn into the bowels of Syrian madness is both well established and well justified. The attacks, then, will likely not degrade or deter anything really; they will be offered up only as a safety net to catch the falling reputation of the President as it drops toward the nether regions of strategic oblivion.
This has all been so vividly sign-posted it is getting hard to see how even a ‘cosmetic’ effect is going to work. How can an operation pre-advertized as an awkward spasm of embarrassment be realistically expected to restore honor and credibility?