US President Barack Obama has accused Bashar al-Assad's regime of crossing a red line by using chemical weapons against his own people and vowed to attack Syrian military installations in response. Washington, which has been largely absent from the Syrian conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people over the last two years, is now set to launch another US war in the Middle East.
Is the US right to enforce an international norm or is the chemical charge a pretext for regime change?
The Obama administration has turned to Congress, but would not go to the UN Security Council for war authorisation. But as the leadership in Congress expresses support for the president, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned against the grave consequences of an American military action.
Is the US decision to go to war right or is Washington acting out of narrow strategic interest?
Supporters of the president's decision argue that the US has a moral and strategic responsibility to take a stand against the use of chemical weapons while his opponents warn that military strikes will further destabilise an already divided region and lead to an escalation with horrific consequences.
Is the US a force for good or a dangerous self-designated world policeman?
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