On Sunday, the U.S. proposed an international coalition of the willing to aid Syria's opposition following a decision by Russia and China to block a U.N. effort to end the violent conflict. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that a "brutal civil war" could unfurl and urged "friends of democratic Syria [to] support the Syrian people's right to have a better future." She added: "Faced with a neutered Security Council, we have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations." Since the coalition was floated, developments in Syria have only gotten worse, with the army shelling the city of Homs killing at least 50 people followed by the closure of the U.S. Embassy in Damascus. So what would an international intervention look like? Here are the scenarios U.S. officials, think-tankers, and military experts have envisioned.
Libya Lite: U.S. officials speaking with the Associated Press said the intervention being proposed would share some similarities to the intervention in Libya. It would squeeze the Assad regime by "stepping up sanctions against it, bringing disparate Syrian opposition groups inside and outside the country together, providing humanitarian relief for embattled Syrian communities and working to prevent an escalation of violence by monitoring arms sales." Importantly, it would not involve coordination with NATO military operations to protect the civilian populations, a key pilar of the Libyan intervention. The AP reports that Syria's main opposition group, the Syrian National Council, is on board with the idea.