Tampa Bay Times: U.S. Role Key In Syrian Crisis
Truman Partner Justin Day in the Tampa Times on the role of the U.S. in Syria:
With the recent resignation of U.N. special envoy for Syria Kofi Annan, there are new doubts that a diplomatic solution is possible in Syria. Unlike similar conflicts in the Middle East that arose from the Arab Spring, this conflict impacts several aspects of U.S. foreign policy in the region, including al-Qaida, chemical weapons, Iran’s nuclear program and human rights.
Yet just as there are doubts, there are also numerous opportunities for diplomatic success. By increasing political and economic pressure on the Bashar Assad regime, working with Syrian political stakeholders from across factions, and encouraging all parties to form a representative government, the United States can help create a post-Assad peace.
Voters must encourage leaders in Washington to provide rebels with antitank weapons, and most importantly, the United States should be prepared to intervene to secure Syrian chemical weapons. The Assad regime is reportedly in possession of one of the world’s largest stockpiles of chemical weapons, and pinpointing the locations of those stockpiles — and preventing them from being used — must be a U.S. priority.
There are commonsense approaches to Syria that don’t involve U.S. boots on the ground. Our leaders in Washington should listen to them.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Truman National Security Project or Educational Institute.