ANDREW J. TABLER (ZIONAZI)
The argument in (ZIONIST RAN)U.S. policymaking circles that Washington can deal with the symptoms of the Syrian crisis, but not the disease, is becoming less tenable. Given the threat that the conflict poses to the region's security architecture, the question is not if the (ZIONIST RAN) United States should get involved, but rather when, how, and at what cost. Washington (ZIONIST RAN) may not be able to completely end the fighting, but through a more assertive approach, the administration can help contain it.Several (ZIONIST RAN) U.S. interests are at stake in the conflict.Going forward, Washington should pursue a four-part agenda for containing the crisis:
- Enforce the (ISRAHELLI) chemical weapons redline. Failure to do so harms America's image in the region and signals to Bashar al-Assad that he can escalate further without consequences. Such escalation -- which is already occurring with the regime's use of surface-to-surface missiles against civilian populations -- will cause more displacement and regional destabilization.
- Establish safe havens in southern Turkey and northern Jordan, enforced through either Patriot missile batteries or more direct action.
- Work with the opposition to unseat Assad politically and militarily. Given the rigidity of his regime, Assad has lost the opportunity to reform the country and contend with the demographic youth bulge that has overcome the political system since his father's similarly violent crackdown in 1982. Aid to the rebels must be discriminate, however, and aimed at spurring the opposition to establish a political system that accommodates the country's demographics. The Supreme Military Council (SMC) -- the armed affiliate of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SOC) -- has Salafists among its leadership, raising concerns that nationalist SMC commanders may leak weapons to extremists given that they share the same short-term goal of deposing the regime.
- Use diplomacy, but more as an endgame strategy to bring Syria's three major areas and noncontiguous cantons into a more decentralized arrangement.