While the US government is considering changing the Syrian regime by force, with the excuse of punishment following the chemical attack that the Obama administration holds the el-Assad government responsible for, the Rand Corporation is studying the consequences of the options available.

 Destroying or pining to the ground the Syrian aviation wouldn’t radically change the balance of power and wouldn’t enable the opposition to win.

 Destroying the Syrian anti-missiles is possible, by only has meaning if the US army then undertakes a classical war with ground deployment.

 Creating protected zones in Syrian territory in order to shelter the opposition is feasible. This means dismembering the country.

 Overthrowing the regime, supposing minimum ground support, which would be profitable to the democratic opposition as well as the jihadists, with a high risk of a prolonged political instability.

 Destroying the Syrian chemical weapons implies an air operation as well as a ground intervention. Moreover, their is a high chances of gas scattering in the atmosphere and it would be impossible to destroy all of the weapons.

In a word : for the United-States, the resort to the air army is easy, but does is not enough for complete success, on the contrary.

Airpower Options for Syria. Assessing Objectives and Missions for Aerial Intervention, by Karl P. Mueller, Jeffrey Martini and Thomas Hamilton, Rand Corporation, August 30th 2013.

Alizée Ville