Bob Owens has an excellent, and unfortunately probably dead on, analysis of the situation in Syria and Iran.
Whether or not the President acknowledges it, a state of war exists between the United States and the governments of Iran and Syria. The question before us now is whether or not we chose to acknowledge this state of war that our adversaries have instigated, and if we will take the steps needed end this state of conflict with a minimal loss of life on all sides.
Any response we make–political, economic or military–may trigger a renewed rocket assault on Israel by Hezbollah, and a dramatic surge in violence against U.S. and Iraqi government forces in Iraq by Shia militias loyal to Iran. This is in addition to direct counterstrikes that the Syrian and Iranian military may have preplanned against U.S. forces and allied nations throughout the Middle East. Such actions would likely include Iranian attempts to target and destroy refineries, oil pumping stations, ports, and pipelines and oil rigs in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and other Persian Gulf Nations, in addition to an attempt to close the Straits of Hormuz to shipping, thereby paralyzing many of the world’s economies dependent on the free flow of Persian Gulf oil.
Therefore, the best and only option available to the United States and allied nations threatened by Iran and Syria is an overwhelming series of air strikes that will cripple these ability of these two nations to project military power both directly and indirectly, along with the explicit message that further measures taken by Iran and Syria to effect changes through the use of terrorism or through conventional warfare will result in far more debilitating attacks that would wreck the economies of these nations and threaten the very existence of their regimes.
The “biggest sticks” in the Iranian arsenal are two-fold; their ability to influence terrorists in Iraq and in Lebanon, and their purported ability to close the Persian Gulf to shipping via military means. Syria has much more limited capabilities.
Very little can be done to directly stop Syrian and Iranian contributions to terrorism, but as Syria is something of a client state of Iran, our best opportunity may be to take on the “head of the snake;” where Iran leads, Syria will likely follow, and Iran is in a far more precipitous position than they would have us believe.
It is a very long post, so you might want to print this one and read it over the holiday. It is definitely worth your time.