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    #1

    short of an attack?

    Hello Everyone,

    What does the underlined mean here?

    ...The President, having said he would take similar action against Syria
    if a similar smoking gun were produced, faces the dilemma
    now that Britain has produced a smoking gun of how to
    orchestrate a response short of an attack on Syria
    that he has no intention of ordering...

    Regards

    Richard

  1. #2

    Re: short of an attack?

    Not a teacher.

    It means actions that can be taken up to, but not including, military action (an attack) against Syria. War is supposed to be the last option available, so anything that is not war "falls short" of war.

    Hope that helps!

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    #3

    Re: short of an attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedeebo View Post
    Not a teacher.

    It means actions that can be taken up to, but not including, military action (an attack) against Syria. War is supposed to be the last option available, so anything that is not war "falls short" of war.

    Hope that helps!
    Can I understand the sentence this way?

    Britain has produced a smoking gun of economic sanction, verbal sanction ...( but excluding millitary action)


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    #4

    Re: short of an attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by sky753 View Post
    Can I understand the sentence this way?

    Britain has produced a smoking gun of economic sanction, verbal sanction ...( but excluding millitary action)
    ...The President, having said he would take similar action against Syria if a similar smoking gun were produced, faces the dilemma now that Britain has produced a smoking gun of how to orchestrate a response short of an attack on Syria that he has no intention of ordering...

    It is more that the smoking gun is the problem of how to organise a response that is not a military one.

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    #5

    Re: short of an attack?

    Quote Originally Posted by sky753 View Post
    Can I understand the sentence this way?

    Britain has produced a smoking gun of economic sanction, verbal sanction ...( but excluding millitary action)
    No, you need to understand what a smoking gun is first.
    A "smoking gun" is evidence that someone has committed an offense. No one may have seen someone being shot, but if the gun is smoking, then that is proof that it has been fired.

    Now, the problem here is that the President says he'll take action against Syria if a smoking gun is produced (evidence of Syria's misbehaviour).
    Well, Britain has produced such a smoking gun (It has evidence of an offence by Syria).
    So now the President faces a dilemma. He has to respond (because he said he would, and he can't afford to make empty threats; but he doesn't want to take military action). His problem is how to respond in some way, short of a military attack.

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