And, American opinion is encouraging the drift. After years of being told by the administration that success is defined as withdrawal, Americans have no appetite for a surge into Syria. Two new opinion polls show a public opposed to a Syrian commitment.
In a series of follow-up questions, Pew probed the public’s sense of obligation in opposing authoritarian regimes and stopping violence. Concern for those positions was slight. Not asked was the basic national security question of “is stopping Syria from becoming a satellite for Iranian and Russian aggression in the Middle East an important goal.”
Pew obviously felt the main motivating factors for American involvement are humanitarian or democratic goals. But, the challenge in Syria is becoming more purely national interest.
Of course, at this point in the life of the Obama presidency, partisanship effects all public perception, making finding a majority for a foreign policy action nearly impossible.