Presidents are right to insist the Pentagon prepare serious contingency plans to meet any eventuality, no matter how remote the possibility they may be used. It's always best to be prepared, obviously.
But sending any American military forces into combat in the Syrian civil war is such a bad idea that Congress should make it abundantly and plainly clear that if President Barack Obama decides one day to do so, lawmakers will order him the very next day to withdraw those troops. It simply would not make any sense.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee recently that he has provided the White House with options for use of the U.S. military in Syria. The matter is "under deliberation inside of our agencies of government," he added.
Has Obama learned nothing from the history of this country's many bloody mistakes in the Middle East? If not, members of Congress - of both parties - should remind him in no uncertain terms that the United States has no business getting our military involved in Syria. No good will come of such a misguided decision.
U.S. military intervention in Syria would be a catastrophe for any number of reasons. The president ought to be asking himself whether he wants to start a conflict that would be known as "Obama's War."