Syria Expert: 'Our hands off policy is not producing security for the United States'

A new Reuters poll shows a majority of Americans oppose a U.S. strike on Syria, but Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, says doing nothing is not a good option either.

“I think that the president has correctly ascertained that there is an important threshold that President Assad crossed on August 21st and whether you agree with the president’s broader handling of the war or not, I have my dissent from aspects of it, I think as far as it goes I think a response is a smart idea.”

O’Hanlon told Fox News National Security Analyst KT McFarland that current strategies are also cause for concern.

“A failed Syria, with Al Qaeda-affiliated groups getting big sanctuaries in the heart of the Middle East, is also something Americans should be worried about , and that’s what’s happening,” said O’Hanlon.

“Our hands-off policy is not producing security for the United States either. Without some kind of a plan to try to stabilize Syria, it can become the next Somalia,” said O’Hanlon. “It could have pockets of insecurity and instability, where the worst terrorist groups in the world have a new opportunity to strike at countries like Jordan, Israel and even, yes, the United States, potentially.”

McFarland and O’Hanlon discussed what type of operation could be implemented in Syria. O’Hanlon says the U.S. does not have to go in with a hundred thousand GI’s; there are other options, but there will not be an immediate solution.

“It is gonna take a year or two to get to a successful outcome, in my opinion, and it probably needs to look like something like the Bosnia model, where you have a peace deal and probably autonomous regions for ethnic groups and probably, yes, some kind of international peace implementation force on the ground after that peace deal is negotiated in order to help patrol ceasefire lines between the different groups. And some of those forces, I believe, will have to be American. That is gonna make a lot of people unhappy.”

Watch the full analysis in the video above and for more on this topic watch LIVE weekdays at 12 p.m. ET.  Read more stories from KT McFarland here and watch more interviews here.