After two years of bloody conflict, sectarian violence, and finally the unconfirmed use of chemical weapons in Syria last week (round two, allegedly), US options for direct military intervention in the war-torn region are finally coming to light.

With extensive worldwide media coverage finally bringing the Syrian civil war into the limelight of American public opinion, US decision-makers have publically provided regime planners with a set of parameters and general timeframe of any possible direct US military action.

Mass dissemination of such close-hold information aside, there are three key issues in the context of direct US military action in Syria that need identification and further analysis: a lack of support from other key global powers and partners, a convoluted and precedent-driven US foreign policy agenda, and a “gut check” of US military values and purpose.  The intent of this article is to briefly review all three of these issues.

One’s the Loneliest Number

Just recently the British Parliament rejected a preliminary vote that would help determine the possibility and extent of any UK military action in Syria, alongside any US forces.  This announcement came on the heels of the still-unconfirmed chemical weapons use by regime forces in a suburb of Damascus earlier this week.

This announcement, while not legally or officially binding, affects the possible US courses of action in attempting to determine the extent of any direct military intervention in Syria.  Citing primarily humanitarian concerns to justify UK involvement in Syria, British Prime Minister Cameron stated that any British action, “would not be determined by [President Obama’s] actions or those of the [US],” but rather those of the British government.

The UK’s initial rejection of this proposal should greatly affect how President Obama will pursue options for US military action.  With multiple overt and covert players affecting the Syrian battlespace, solitary US military engagement in Syria is not only ineffective, but a rash endeavor that would lead to little military benefit, strategic gains, or political favor in the region.

Elsewhere in Western Europe, other coalition force nations such as France are also considering their level of commitment to any possible US direct military action. The French Parliament is holding an emergency session early next month to determine their level of support, if any.