The Biden administration barely pretends to care about Syria anymore

The Biden administration barely pretends to care about Syria anymore

Josh Rogin writes:

The Biden administration seems to have forgotten about Syria these days. The only moves it has made recently were responses to February’s devastating earthquake or a recent attack on U.S. troops by an apparent Iranian drone. The administration has abdicated diplomatic leadership to Moscow and is turning a blind eye as Gulf states welcome the Assad regime back into the diplomatic fold. Privately, many Biden officials tell me they just don’t see any good U.S. policy options.

Nonsense. There are several things that the U.S. government could and should do that could prevent the catastrophe in Syria from getting even worse. This week, in fact, dozens of former U.S. officials, experts and leaders of Syrian organizations sent President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken a long list of things the administration ought to be doing right now. The letter’s signatories also explain why it matters.

“None of the issues that caused the Syria conflict have been resolved, most notably Assad regime atrocities and inability, or refusal to reform,” the letter states. “Many of the conflict’s symptoms are worsening, from human suffering, industrial-scale drug trafficking, refugee flows, terrorism, geopolitical conflict and ethnic and sectarian hostilities.”

In other words, Washington is sorely mistaken if it thinks that allowing regional players to reestablish diplomatic and economic ties with Bashar al-Assad will lead to greater stability. As the authors write: “Syria’s crisis is complex, but unconditional regime normalization is not inevitable.” [Continue reading…]

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