Even if the Security Council doesn’t sanction a Syrian intervention, any move by the United States to “put boots on the ground” in Syria could still be well supported by the international laws of war – and the demands of the UN Charter. And intervention to protect Syrian civilians may finally pressure Russia to finally give UN Security Council support for such a move.
Several lawmakers, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina, Claire McCaskill (D) of Missouri, and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers (R) of Michigan, are either calling on the president to put “boots on the ground” or refusing to rule that out as an option. Doing so, they argue, will increase the pressure on the Syrian regime and demonstrate to Iran that we mean what we say.
However, consistent vetoes from Russia at the UN Security Council on further action in Syria make it unlikely the international body will back any military intervention there – at least for the time being. This is unfortunate, as the UN is the most prominent international organization and therefore shouldn’t be consigned to irrelevance as Syria is turned into a charnel house.