So far, as US Presidents go, Barack Obama really hasn't jumped at the chance to go to war.
Okay, so he's not exactly Gandhi on the non-violent-resistance front. He hasn't hesitated to accelerate the US drone programme, he defied Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden, had airmen shot down in Libya and even admits to targeting and killing US citizens abroad.
But compared to his predecessor, Obama has been none too enthusiastic about playing World Police.
It's worth remembering, after all, that John McCain - the man Obama defeated for the White House in 2008 - said in March last year that he would already have bombed Damascus. None of this "intelligence gathering" or "consulting with foreign leaders" mumbo jumbo.
If McCain was in charge, it would all be over. Except it mightn't, of course.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Russian TV this week that every US war since the "invasion" of Vietnam has been a failure. Some would argue that though he was taunting the White House, the man has a point.
Who knows where Obama truly expected the Syrian crisis to lead?
When he described the potential use of chemical weapons as a "red line", he likely didn't expect Assad's regime to call his bluff.
But the problem with intervening, for a President, is that the aftermath of an attack rarely reflects the complexity of the decision to get involved. There's no middle-grounding a cruise missile strike; you either hit the button or you don't.
And there's never any guarantee what might happen next.
The Serbs thought they'd take Sarajevo in days; the siege lasted more than three years. In 2001, George W. Bush could hardly have expected Afghanistan to become the longest war in US history.
Missile strikes mark intervention, but not necessarily full-scale war. You have to wonder, though, what's the next "red line?" What happens if Assad retaliates and uses his hundreds of tonnes of stockpiled chemical weapons to gas even more of his people? What happens if he fires back at US forces? If he fires on Israel, perhaps?
A US-led ground invasion can't possibly be an option. Not for all the death and despair in Damascus.
Given the United States' massive national debt, the Afghanistan conflict approaching its 12th year and a military scoured by near-epidemic levels of post-traumatic stress and depression, the President leads not only a war-weary public, but a war-weary military as well.