Charles Kennedy Jr.September 13, 2013 10:20
Commentary: Like other plans, this one carries its own share of risks.
A fighter of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (PFLP-GC) runs across a street in the Yarmouk refugee camp in the Syrian capital Damascus on Sept. 12, 2013, following fighting against rebel forces who control 75 percent of the camp. The PFLP-GC has been allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government. (Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images)
President Obama decided to give diplomacy a chance, to see if the Russian initiative can place Syria’s chemical weapons and materials under international control. He asked Congress to delay any vote to authorize airstrikes if these efforts fail. Congress was hesitant to give the president approval for military intervention for many good reasons: current conditions on the ground, the benefits were dubious and the risks were significant. There was no clear end game in sight, one that would stop most killing and the immense threat to regional stability posed by the ongoing civil war.