Monday, September 9, 2013

New RAND Study: Syria Military Action Risky

The RAND Corporation recently released a new study regarding airpower options in Syria.  Here is a summary of the findings:
  • Destroying the Syrian air force or grounding it through intimidation is operationally feasible but would have only marginal benefits for protecting Syrian civilians.
  • Neutralizing the Syrian air defense system would be challenging but manageable; however, it would not be an end in itself.
  • Making safe areas in Syria reasonably secure would depend primarily on the presence of ground forces able and willing to fend off attacks, and defending safe areas in Syria's interior would resemble intervention on the side of the opposition.
  • An air campaign against the Syrian army could do more to help ensure the Assad regime would fall than to determine what would replace it.
  • Airpower could be used to reduce the Assad regime's ability or desire to launch large-scale chemical attacks, but eliminating its chemical weapon arsenal would require a large ground operation.
Karl Mueller, Associate Director, Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program, RAND Arroyo Center, and Professor of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, was the report's lead author.

Here is what Politico is saying about the study.

RAND Corp. was recently ranked as the 9th best think tank in the world by the annual University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings.  It was also ranked as the 5th best think tank in the US, and the world's 7th best security and international affairs think tank.