Cato Institute’s Chris Preble has written about “the relative wisdom and prudence of the Reagan/Bush I years in relation to the Weinberger/Powell Doctrine. Chris notes that essential elements of the doctrine boil down to five key questions. Americans now have an opportunity to influence elected congressional representatives to carefully run down the W/P Doctrine checklist. When considering a military strike against Syria, are each of the five tests met? I would maintain that not one of the W/P tests has been met. Here are the five key questions.
- Is there a compelling national interest at stake?
- Have the costs and consequences of intervention been considered?
- Have we exhausted all available options for resolving the problems, i.e, is force a last resort?
- Is there a clear and achievable military mission and therefore a well-defined end state?
- Is there strong public support—both domestic and international—for the operation?