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How to Oust Assad

And Why the United States Should Try

A protester holds up a poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a demonstration against Israeli air strikes in Syria, in Sanaa, May 10, 2013. Khaled Abdullah / Courtesy Reuters

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of the recent chemical attack in Syria as an “undeniable” fact -- not a subject for debate. He called it “moral obscenity” and laid the blame squarely on the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The statement was an undisguised war speech. The only question now is what form that war might take and how long the battle will last.

There are several rumors swirling. One is that the Obama administration would prefer a mere “punitive” campaign. Some precision-timed leaks to the media seem to point in this direction. But such a strategy would accomplish nothing if the goal is to deter the Assad regime from ever using chemical agents again. Over the past year, Israel has waged half a dozen pinprick strikes on caches of advanced weapons inside Syria, likely because they were destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon. The very number

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