It seems that every dictator and every atrocity in that region is met with a call for action without a thought to consequences. Those who wish to send our soldiers to "take care" of every atrocity in the world might want to take a glance at Maplecroft's Human Rights Risk Atlas, which currently lists 35 countries as extreme risks for committing atrocities. Are we prepared to send our military to right the wrongs of all 35 countries?
Of course, Americans were horrified by the use of chemical weapons in Syria on innocent people. But there are horrors all around the world, and surely the suggestion is not that we battle them all.
United States military action is not to be taken lightly. It should be thoughtful, measured, constitutional -- and decisive for a victory. For over two decades, we have acted as a traffic cop in the Middle East -- sanctions, bombings, no-fly zones, invasions, occupations, policing, nation-building.
American foreign policy now requires a dramatic shift. It must be governed by the question: What are our vital national security interests in the region?