"During more than two years of unrest and violence, the central question for policy makers has been how best to bring the conflict in Syria to a close without irretrievably destabilizing the region and/or endangering key U.S. allies or interests. The debate over a potential military response to reported chemical weapons use adds new complications to this question. Given the human cost and the polarizing effects of the fighting, security, humanitarian, and economic challenges will beset Syria and probably implicate U.S. interests for years to come..."
Armed Conflict in Syria: Background and U.S. Response