disproportionate military escalation

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Senior Member

"The idea that the Syrian regime would launch missiles in its borders at its own people is stunning, desperate, a completely disproportionate military escalation."

(This comes from Dec 12nd 2012 Assad's forces fire Scuds in Syria escalation: U.S. official in Reuters)

Disproportionate means too large or too small in relation to something, but I don't understand its meaning here. The military escalation is too large or is too small ? And it is in relation to what?

Thanks in advance!
  • gramman

    Senior Member
    Hey ironman

    "Disproportionate" can indeed refer to something that is either too large or too small in relation to something else, but I'd say it's almost always used to indicate the former. If it's used to mean "too small," I'd say that would need to be made clear.
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