War With Syria Just Got a Step Closer

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It’s possible that the biggest news of the week might not be either the Boston bombings or today’s failure of gun legislation to pass the Senate. It might be this:

The Pentagon is sending about 200 troops to Jordan, the vanguard of a potential U.S. military force of 20,000 or more that could be deployed if the Obama administration decides to intervene in Syria to secure chemical weapons arsenals or to prevent the 2-year-old civil war from spilling into neighboring nations.

Troops from the 1st Armored Division will establish a small headquarters near Jordan’s border with Syria to help deliver humanitarian supplies for a growing flood of refugees and to plan for possible military operations, including a rapid buildup of American forces if the White House decides intervention is necessary, senior U.S. officials said.

…The move marks the first deployment that Pentagon officials explicitly described as a possible step toward direct military involvement in Syria….U.S. officials say they have stepped up preparations because the Syrian civil war shows few signs of abating, and a political settlement that includes the departure of President Bashar Assad appears increasingly unlikely.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel insists that military intervention in Syria is still an “option of last resort,” but once operations like this start to ramp up, they often acquire a momentum of their own. This is something to keep a very, very close eye on.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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