As thoroughly unpalatable as it is to sit back and watch the horrific murder of innocents without doing something to help, it's difficult to see how a military strike on Syria will do anything to stop the violence, though it would almost certainly add to it, and could realistically help spread it beyond the country's borders. Is making a public moral statement a good enough reason for initiating military action when there's precious little chance of the action contributing to peace? It's a question the United States will have to answer in the coming days.
Syria is four wars in one that threaten the region, the world's energy prices and the global economy. This conflict is confusing and involves many players and origins. Each fight varies in terms of cause, intensity, possible outcomes and estimated duration so here is the playbook to help understand the headline.