The fiasco in Syria easily makes the list of the ten dumbest things the US government has done since the turn of the century. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:
US Should Avoid Other Nation’s Civil Wars
It took a particularly perverse and misguided mindset to watch the tragic collapse of Syria and insist that Washington intervene. One of the most important benefits of living in a nation that is stable politically (well, sort of these days!) and prosperous economically is to escape precisely that sort of devastating collapse. The U.S. government’s job is to protect its own people, and that should mean avoiding unnecessary involvement in destructive wars, not embracing them.
Yet in the nation’s capital foreign conflict attracts armchair field marshals like lights draw moths. There is an overwhelming desire throughout government bureaucracies, think tanks, and media newsrooms to get involved or, more accurately, to make others get involved. Opinion leaders rarely go themselves. But they are only too happy to send others to do the dirty work. Successive administrations have imposed sanctions, provided weapons, trained soldier, introduced troops, launched bombing raids, seized resources, occupied territory, and done more in assorted civil wars, including Syria.
The latter is a terrible tragedy, with an estimated half million deaths. It is not genocide, however, as oft-claimed. It is a civil war. And one with multiple factions, many if not most ugly, brutal, and murderous. Unfortunately, President Bashar al-Assad has no monopoly on evil. Yet the US cheerfully collaborated with most any killer of most any ideology if he opposed Assad, a perverse policy of dubious morality and dismal effectiveness.