Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the U.S. is ready to respond to what Secretary of State John Kerry called “undeniable” proof that the Syrian government used chemical weapons. “We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take.” The Washington Post provides an overview of which factors would lead to an attack, and what that attack might look like.

+ Russia and China have both warned against any attack led by the U.S. and its allies.

+ Dexter Filkins on the Syrian question: This time it’s different.

+ And from The New Yorker, here’s an excerpt from George Packer’s Two Minds on Syria:

“So it looks like we’re going to bomb Assad.

Really? Why good?
Did you see the videos of those kids? I heard that ten thousand people were gassed. Hundreds of them died. This time, we have to do something.

Yes, I saw the videos.
And you don’t want to pound the shit out of him?

I want to pound the shit out of him.
But you think we shouldn’t do anything.

I didn’t say that. But I want you to explain what we’re going to achieve by bombing.”