Rebeccah Heinrichs’ demand for more meddling in Syria is wonderfully incoherent:
The Commander in Chief needs to explain to the American people why stability in Syria [bold mine-DL] is necessary for their security. Then, he needs to do whatever he can to empower the non-Islamist factions within the opposition, including providing arms [bold mine-DL].
Yes, those weapons could end up being used against Americans. But right now that risk must be weighed against the down-stream risk of chemical weapons being used against Americans [bold mine-DL].
In short, Heinrichs wants the U.S. to contribute to the destabilization of Syria in the name of stability. Whatever else arming the Syrian opposition might do, it won’t make Syria stable. Arming insurgents isn’t supposed to make a country stable. If stability in Syria were necessary for American security, the U.S. wouldn’t be lending any support to anti-regime forces at all. If Obama were to tell Americans that it was necessary for American security, he would be deceiving them.
Heinrichs wants Obama to provide weapons to armed groups that could later be used against Americans and others in order to topple the Syrian government, which is unavoidably destabilizing to Syria and its neighbors. That in turn makes it much more likely that chemical weapons could fall into the hands of jihadist groups. That is the risk that we are supposed to “weigh against” the risk of U.S.-supplied weapons being used by those groups, but both risks are made much greater by following Heinrichs’ advice. The Syrian conflict doesn’t pose a significant threat to U.S. security, but everything Heinrichs recommends would make it more dangerous to the U.S. than it is right now.