As an alternative to US military intervention, Russia and Syria have agreed on a plan to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control and destroy them. The proposal would provide the US government with a change to "win without war" and give a major boost to peace forces seeking to block a Congressional war authorization.
The proposal seems consistent with the Obama administration's stated goal of destroying Syria's chemical weapons capacity without a full-scale war for regime change. Under the proposed formula, both Russia and Iran can avoid the stigma of supporting a stockpile of Syrian chemical weapons while continuing to protect the Damascus regime against regime change.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad can end the crisis by surrendering control of "every single bit" of Syria's arsenal to the U.N. in one week. The U.N.'s Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, is urging Syria to transfer chemical stocks to a secure location for their destruction.
An authoritative article in Ha'aretz also reports Iranian efforts at a diplomatic settlement involving the dismantling of chemical stockpiles.
Whether such forceful diplomacy averts the need for a wider war would seem to be up to the US government. It could be a win win win win…