Syria: Alternative Solutions
Tue, 03/07/2023 – 05:00
INTRODUCTION: As discussed in my September essay for The Caravan, “Lessons from Past Diplomacy with Russia Concerning Syria and the Implications for US Policy Today,” Syria remains a frozen conflict, and a failed state, after now twelve years of civil war and massive external intervention. While this stalemate may arguably advantage U.S. and western interests (block a geostrategic victory for Russia in a central Arab state, stymie Iranian expansionist ambitions, keep Islamic State terrorists under pressure), the humanitarian costs remain significant, and the stalemate is not stable. Recent threats- from a possible new Turkish incursion to Russian objections to cross-border humanitarian assistance, an uptick in Israeli bombings, to attacks on U.S. forces by pro-Iranian elements- underline the risks inherent in the current U.S. policy, a policy which is ambivalent at best and lacks sufficient highest-level engagement.
But as soon as one considers ways out of this stalemate, problems arise which have bedeviled prior efforts for a solution. Nevertheless, an inventory of alternative solutions can help focus attention within the Biden administration, Congress and the Washington policy community, and among interested audiences in international organizations, Europe, and the Middle East. …read more
Source:: Hoover Institution