In this clip from today’s speech, National Security Adviser Susan Rice explains that we do not need to fear “a spiral of unintended escalatory reactions” as a result of our coming military strike. Why not? Because escalation by Assad would quickly and firmly be met with more escalation by President Obama.
Rice: We do not assess that limited military strikes will unleash a spiral of unintended escalatory reactions in the region. Assad and his allies would be more than foolish to take on the forces of the United States or our allies. They know that President Obama throughout his presidency has amply demonstrated he will not hesitate to defend our nation, our citizens and our allies against direct threats to our security.
Her logic is ironclad. Assad would indeed be foolish to risk such escalation. And we know that a man who launches chemical weapons attacks on his own citizens, including while UN inspectors are in the country looking for evidence of such attacks, is anything but foolish.