Secretary of State John Kerry's tone and words were so strong in his condemnation of the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons on civilians that the president of Council on Foreign Relations says U.S. military involvement is highly likely.
"Frankly, I would be surprised and then some if the United States now did not, probably together with a few other countries, take some military action, CFR President Richard Haass told CNN Monday.
The United States needs to underscore the taboo that chemical weapons should have "now and forevermore," Haass said.
Kerry spoke earlier Monday
, saying the use of chemical weapons was undeniable after video surfaced last week of hundreds of men, women, and children showing up at a hospital. Scores of them reportedly were killed. He called the incident a "moral obscenity."
Haass suggested a cruise missile attack from sea or aircraft without getting American planes within striking distance of Syria's air defense system.
The United States must attack, Haass said, after President Barack Obama said in 2012 that use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line."
"Any time you throw down a diplomatic gauntlet, your words have repercussions," he said, adding, "That said, I don't think we should be getting involved centrally in the Syrian civil war."
He warned the U.S. should "put a ceiling on what we're doing" to avoid getting enmeshed in a "quagmire."
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