From the FT:
"Washington has consulted its allies in an inter-agency search co-ordinated by Stephen Hadley, the president's national security adviser. The US is also said to be considering military strikes on the Syrian border in response to its alleged support for Iraqi insur-gents.
"They are tasking inside and outside the administration with finding an alternative. They would like to find someone to give them a soft landing," said a former official who asked not to be named. "They would probably accept a military figure but it would be very hard to identify someone to step in and work with the US."
The U.S. game ostensibly is to do regime change on the cheap in Syria, but there is no viable opposition in place either inside or outside the country, and most Syrians are united in their fear of becoming another Iraq. By raising the spectre of regime change, the real end game is to change the behavior of Bashar al-Asad.