“I think it is very important for us to try to resolve this without recourse to outside military intervention, and I think that’s possible,” Obama said in an interview with NBC News that aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday.
But the military is beginning to look at what can be done. One of the senior U.S. officials called the effort a “scoping exercise” to see what capabilities are available given other U.S. military commitments in the region.
Both officials pointed out that this type of planning exercise is typical for the Pentagon, which would not want to be in the position of not having options for the president, if and when they are asked for.
It would be Gen. James Mattis, head of U.S. Central Command, who would provide details on what U.S. military assets are available, what missions they could perform if asked, and what risks U.S. forces might face.
“The Pentagon is closely monitoring developments in Syria. It wouldn’t be doing its job if it didn’t put some ideas on the table,” one of the senior U.S. officials told CNN. “But absolutely no decisions have been made on military support for Syria.”
Full article: U.S. military beginning review of Syria options (CNN)