Presidents are right to insist the Pentagon prepare contingency plans to meet any eventuality, no matter how remote the possibility they may be used.
But sending Americans into combat in the Syrian civil war is such an insane idea that Congress should make it clear that if President Barack Obama decides one day to do so, lawmakers will order him the very next day to withdraw.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee 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.
We hope Obama has learned 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.
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 go down in history with his name on it.