This week the US is treacherously close to joining the complex and ongoing tragedy of Syria. Though President Obama has expressed his reluctance in getting directly involved, perennially-influential DC neocons are very busy arguing the merits of entering the conflict, evidenced in this direct letter to the president.
The issue of how "[t]he world--including Iran, North Korea, and other potential aggressors who seek or possess weapons of mass destruction--is now watching to see how [Obama] responds" is certainly a legitimate long-term factor in both our national security as well as our foreign policy in the region, but the absence of a clear endgame plan post-military intervention is concerning here.
Where will our involvement actually lead us in Syria? How will this affect our relations with Russia and China? Who will take Assad's place if he goes? How will this influence the context of Israel? The humanitarian crimes, of which we are most likely not seeing the full brunt, do undoubtedly offer a moral argument for US participation. But in order to ride the fine line between assisting those in need and aggravating a situation not under our control is disturbing and needs to be addressed in some way.
These questions barely cut below the surface. Of course an intricate plan does not need to be completely spelled out in a basic letter to the president, but to rally the White House so passionately without even acquiescing to the existence of so many weighty unknowns seems out of touch and distressing, particularly by such an authoritative group of individuals.
It makes one wonder if this view on the Syrian war relies too heavily on the paradigm of traditional IR-game theory without much consideration of the real-life consequences on the ground. The neocon signatories make their case for entering the war very clear. It is less obvious what they anticipate after we choose to cross that line.
For what it's worth, perhaps the "chess pieces" of Desert Fox would be useful to revisit now.