CHICAGO (CBS) — Professor John Mearsheimer says he’s expecting the U.S. to launch cruise missiles soon, punishing but not toppling the Assad regime.

“We’re merely gonna to what I would call a drive-by shooting and will do some damage to the Syrian forces but it won’t shift the balance of power on the ground at all,” said Mearsheimer.

So he’s suggesting retaliatory strikes by the U.S. be delayed, perhaps permanently.

Mearsheimer says there’s good reason to believe that the Assad regime did indeed launch poison gas which killed 350 people according to Doctors without Borders. But he also says the evidence presented publicly so far doesn’t prove that.

“From a purely logical point of view, it would make good sense for the rebels to stage this attack to get the Americans to intervene,” said Mearsheimer.

He says another possibility is a rogue commander launched a gas attack without direction of the Assad leadership.

Watch & Listen LIVE