America’s expected “limited” strikes in Syria could push the country into an even more dangerous and unpredictable downward spiral or even result in an international crisis, but the White House is saying that doing nothing may be unconscionable and has consequences of its own.

Regardless of our approach to Syria and Assad’s regime, there is no clear answer and every solution comes with its own set of problems, but here is what we know about the region.

In Syria, rebels hope foreign military intervention will be just enough to make the regime less stable, thus allowing them to be ready with their own offensive to topple the regime.

Israel said it is putting its missile defenses, including the Iron Dome and Arrow systems, on their highest state of alert.  Since Hezbollah supports Assad’s regime, they may do something stupid if they feel that they are losing their only ally in the area and strike targets in Israel.

Iran says a U.S. strike in Syria will result in a disaster in the entire area and all the countries in the region fear a retaliatory responses from their neighbors.

Syria’s military is promising a surprise counter- attack against any military attack by the U. S. and its allies.

The United Nations is asking for more time and Russia strongly opposes any military intervention.  The U. K. is asking for more time to assess the situation.

So what happens in Syria and around the Middle East after a military strike?  A lot depends on how aggressive the United States attack on President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is and how much destabilization is caused by said attack.

The first option is the “do nothing” option…

This doesn’t sound likely to be an option with the amount of public outcry over Assad’s use of chemical weapons, but it is the option that I believe in.  The region is too unstable to fully comprehend the full impact on a military assault by U. S. forces.  I do not agree that we need to always play the role of big brother to attempt to resolve international conflict.  I also believe that most countries oppose our interference in other countries affairs and this results in their intense dislike for Americans.  I also believe that it increases the chances of counter-attacks by extremists and terrorist groups against Americans both abroad and in this country.

Am I sympatric and have empathy for the victims, yes I do, but it is not always my place to be the world’s moral compass and always fight for its humanity toward others.

The second option is the “do a little” option…

This would probably be more of a symbolic strike, destroying a few arms depots, airfields, and other military facilities, but that would not significantly change the balance of power in the Syrian war.  Such a limited strike would come with severe warnings from U. S. officials saying that if chemical weapons were ever used again, there would be greater punishment, next time.  This may not be taken seriously by Assad, because we have made these same kinds of threats in the past, and they have obviously been ignored by Syria.

Syrian rebels, and its citizens who opposes President Assad, would be disappointed and demoralized.  They would think that the United States is afraid of Syria and wants to keep Assad in power and they would rightly imagine the continued use of chemical weapons by Assad.  The war in Syria would continue and more of its citizens, including their women and children, would die.  The Syrian people would feel helpless and may then turn to radical Islamic groups to help them, thus Al-Qaeda will grow stronger in the country.  President Assad would believe that he got away with using weapons of mass destruction and would remain in power.

The third option is the “do a little more” option…

Rebels would certainly be encouraged by strong U.S. military strikes, especially if they carry on for several days.  These strikes could help the rebels advance, but they could also create a belief that the regime is collapsing, when in fact it is not.  The rebels could throw themselves into battle, hoping their time to finish off Assad had arrived, only to discover that the regime is much stronger than they anticipated, and suffer enormous losses in the days and weeks after an attack.

The same thing occurred after the Gulf War, when Iraqis took on Saddam Hussein’s army, believing that his regime was weakened, only to find out that they had miscalculated his strength.  This assault resulted in a counter-offensive by Saddam’s troops that killed tens of thousands.

The last option is the “do a lot” option..

If the United States attacks military targets in Syria in a major way, it could topple the weakened Syrian regime. The regime would need to increase its dependence on Hezbollah and Iran to keep the war going.   If the Syrian regime starts to collapse, the fighting could get very intense.  Assad, in desperation, could use more chemical weapons.   The regime could decide to fight to its last breath resulting in the worst fire storm possible, in the entire Middle East.

There would be ethnic and sectarian fighting.  Syria would break into regions, with areas controlled by forces loyal to the military and the Assad family, other areas controlled by Kurds, and Sunni rebel factions, and stirring the pot would be the al-Qaeda linked “Nusra Front,” one of the most powerful radical group in Syria.  In this scenario, the regime would break apart as heavy fighting continued to rage.  The United States could only hope that its ally in Syria, the Free Syrian Army, would prevail.

If the Hezbollah would attack Israel, there could be heavy losses in Israel and in Lebanon.  Something, that would be the last thing that the U, S. government would wish to see.