How to Save Syria?


Our experts weigh in on what the U.S. must a[umlaut]do to stop the bloodshed.

the United States can't save Syria, but it can save Syrians and Americans. Unalterably, Syria is in for an extended, chaotic, and bloody future. If the U.S. intervenes directly in the fighting, we'd only prolong the bloodshed and at considerable cost to ourselves. But we can and should set up a safe haven for Syrians inside Syria, especially on borders with Turkey and Jordan, and protect the refugees with U.S. air power. And we can and should focus what resources we have on identifying and advancing the cause of moderate Syrians. Those who scream for more never specify practical ways for doing so.a[umlaut]--Leslie H. Gelb

First we should push as hard as we can on the current diplomatic track and satisfy ourselves that we've done everything we can. And if that doesn't work, we should recognize the Syrian National Council with our other allies and then recognize [it] as the legitimate government of Syria. We should offer to assist that group in anything that it needs, including a safe zone and air support. We don't go through the U.N. at that point. We should do everything we can to end the fighting and help broker a transition with that group. a[umlaut]--Anne-Marie Slaughter

The Obama administration should assemble a coalition of the willing to intervene immediately. The death toll of more than 40,000 is too painful to bear. Based on the lessons we learned from the other Arab Spring countries, the coalition of the willing should lead the political process. Organized political Islam must participate, because they fought for the liberation of Syria, but they must not determine the terms of the political process, like Mohamed Morsi's Brotherhood has done in Egypt. Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle must be brought to The Hague and a reconciliation tribunal opened, so that people get a channel through which they can express the horrors they suffered. That way, they avoid a situation whereby the passions of revenge hijack the political process. Finally, the sooner we act, the sooner the mass murders and mass rapes and the risk of the use of WMDs comes to an end. Intervening now will send a message to Iran that when America draws a red line, she's not bluffing. a[umlaut]--Ayaan Hirsi Ali

It's a very dangerous situation in Syria, and I'm afraid that we've waited very late to intervene. And I don't mean "intervene" militarily, I mean [it] in terms of helping the opposition come together and perhaps arming them. When a civil war, which is what you have in Syria, goes on for a long time, it empowers the worst elements, and so what was once an opposition that was dominated by more tolerant, more liberal forces now has an element of al Qaeda, a very radical Sunni force. Syria is made up of Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Alawites, [and] Christians, and what all of those people fear is that when Assad goes--and he will go because his regime is falling apart--there will be warring among these factions.a[umlaut]--Condoleezza Rice, summarized from her interview at Newsweek and The Daily Beast's Women in the World Summit in Brazil.

The international community with U.S. leadership needs urgently to prepare a stabilization force to save Syria once Assad finally falls. Modern Syria is an artificial French creation. When Assad falls, it will splinter on Sunni-Alawite and Arab-Kurd lines. Al Qaeda and Hizbullah will grab chemical and other deadly weapons. Lebanon and Jordan may be engulfed in the chaos. To save Syria, NATO should plan and lead the force, the Arab League should provide legitimacy, and Turkey should provide the bulk of the troops with token Arab and Pakistani contingents. America and a[umlaut]Europe can help with experts and a[umlaut]air power. …

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