The best outcome would be to give the Syrian Al Qaeda supported rebels just enough firepower to keep fighting so both sides kill each other. And then all the equipment we deliver magically disappears.
But the war will end and there will be a victor of sorts. If Assad and Hezbollah win, Iran can strengthen its ties with the two groups, most likely throwing Lebanon firmly under Hezbollah control and provoking Israeli response. Jordan and Turkey have also been actively trying to oust Assad, so his victory could easily foretell another explosion of Middle East conflict.
A rebel victory gives Al Qaeda a new base of operations. The Syrian desert is an uncontrollable wasteland, just like the Iraqi desert was.
We should not expect these rebels to suddenly like us because we helped them. That seems to be a reoccurring fallacy that interventionists entertain.
Syrians, in general, distrust foreign -- especially Western -- influence. The rebels have been begging for help from the West for 2 years; coming late to the party does not endear us to them, even if that very help turns the tide. Under no circumstances can we assume that we will have standing with the new rebel government.
So the US is left in the classic “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” position.
Modern interventionism is a fool’s errand. America has always proclaimed it does not desire an empire, and we have largely followed that tenant. We could have easily maintained control of Iraq and confiscated its oil money to pay for the war, but we did not.
If there is no economic reason for the US to intervene, then there must be a strategic reason. I cannot see how being in Syria is a better strategic position than being in Iraq. And we willfully left Iraq.
In Syria we have no positive strategic outcomes, so that point is moot.
If the UK and France want to get involved, then they can go beg Germany for some money and do it themselves. I am sure Germany is willing to listen since they were Syria’s top importer of oil. If Europe wants to challenge Russia and Iran in a proxy war for oil, let them foot their own bill. We have been down that road enough the past 10 years.
So I say let them fight their own war. We should not waste our blood or treasure playing kingmaker to those that revile us.