There is no longer one Syria. There are two: The war-torn lands within Syria’s physical borders, and a second one represented by its refugees scattered throughout the Middle East. The exclusive focus on the how much and what kind of aid the United States gives to the Syrian rebels — and on whether they will win their war against President Bashar Assad — is a dangerous fixation. Even a victory by rebels would be followed by years of turmoil.
But the United States can help the other Syria now. The numbers of people who have fled to neighboring countries can no longer be sustained, and keeping them safe will pay dividends long after the war in Syria is over.