Speaking live to a Fox News panel, the Texas governor was asked whether he would impose a No Fly Zone over Syria. HotAir’s Allahpundit weighed in on Perry’s “slight but revealing hesitation” that followed, and what came next:
“My hunch is that Perry is trying to “read” his interviewer for the correct answer, and since he’s sitting right next to Charles Krauthammer and Bill Kristol, the “right” answer must have seemed abundantly clear.”
Perry’s response was brief: “Absolutely, absolutely,” he said. Allahpundit’s post is rather longer, and runs through a gamut of pretty cogent objections.
“Syria’s uprising is already the bloodiest of the Arab Spring and apt to turn into full-blown civil war, with a fair risk of spillover into neighboring countries. The longer it goes on, the greater the risk of it becoming a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia; even if Assad ends up being dislodged, there’s no telling how Iran and Hezbollah might lash out. Want to be in the middle of that, especially since Sunni hardliners are most likely to benefit if Assad is toppled? Also, bear in mind that most of the fighting in Syria is on the ground, not in the air, such that a no-fly zone probably wouldn’t help much unless we’re prepared to once again extend “responsibility to protect” into an all-out offensive against the regime and its forces. And where would this no-fly zone be staged, exactly? Carriers in the Mediterranean? If you’re thinking Iraq or Kuwait, remember that the Maliki government has been notably warm to Assad even as other Arab states have distanced themselves.Maybe you could get Turkey to let us use their bases, but would Turkey want to end up on the wrong side of Iran?”
He concludes with what’s sure to be an increasingly common refrain: “How are we going to pay for this?”
That point’s being picked up elsewhere - especially since Perry indicated he’d organize the effort unilaterally, telling Kristol and Krauthammer, “I would not spend a lot of time waiting for the UN.” Don Kraus of Citizens for Global Solutions, a DC group promoting U.S. engagement in international institutions, told TPM that Perry’s “gunboat diplomacy” plan “would leave the United States holding the bag instead of sharing the costs.”
So, all right, as far as terrible foreign policy answers go it’s not quite this. However, it certainly suggests Perry should be doing some last-minute reading before Tuesday night’s foreign policy-centered debate.