With the United States on the verge, once again, of military action in the Middle East, it’s important to look at the Syrian conflict as what it is: the epicenter of a widening regional conflict. The limited U.S. missile strikes expected to punish the regime of Bashar al-Assad for the use of chemical weapons will sink the United States more deeply than ever into this turbulent quagmire. But there’s no guarantee that inaction would help the Obama administration get out or stay out. The regional players include too many American allies that are too important to U.S. interests, even though many of them are rivals and enemies of each other.
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