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The U.S. Has No Dog In The Fight In Syria

From the Panel


  • Five Questions with Graham Allison
    Ali Wyne interviews Graham Allison, Big Think, November 6, 2012Other than the security of chemical weapons, there are no vital American national interests in the developments in Syria.
  • U.S. Military Policy
    Graham Allison, Ernest May and Adam Yarmolinsky, Foreign Affairs, January 1970The authors suggest guidelines for American foreign policy, ways in which it should be carried forward, and considerations which should be taken into account in the process.
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50
    Graham Allison, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2012Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Today, it can help U.S. policymakers understand what to do—and what not to do—about Iran, North Korea, China, and presidential decision-making in general.

  • What Are the Worst Case Scenarios for Syria?
    Richard Falkenrath, Bloomberg Businessweek, June 17, 2013 Falkenrath discusses the Syrian conflict.
  • Will the Anti-Government Forces Win in Syria
    Richard Falkenrath, Bloomberg Businessweek, May 24, 2013The risks of action and inaction in Syria.
  • Against: R. NICHOLAS BURNS

  • U.S. Is Syria’s Only Hope
    Nicholas Burns, The Boston Globe, June 5, 2013The stakes are just too high for the United States to sit on the sidelines.
  • U.S. Options Toward Syria
    Nicholas Burns, C-Span, May 1, 2013Nicholas Burns gave his assessment of U.S. options for dealing with Syria’s reported use of chemical weapons in Syria.
  • Obama’s Leadership Challenge on Syria
    Nicholas Burns, GlobalPost, May 1, 2013America’s global leadership role requires us to meet the most dangerous and difficult challenges. A Syrian dictator using chemical weapons is one.
  • Syria Is Melting Away
    Nicholas Burns, The Boston Globe, March 18, 2013Syria’s civil war is exacting an appalling toll on millions of suffering civilians. The carnage is so brutal that the United States and others must act quickly to prevent the country from descending into even further chaos.
  • The Return of Russia
    Nicholas Burns, Boston Globe, July 5, 2012One of the toughest calls to make in diplomacy is when to compromise with anti-democratic leaders like Putin. While progress on Iran and Syria is a long shot, he may be our best choice.


  • Interview with Sir Nigel Sheinwald, Former U.K. Ambassador to the U.S.
    Dermot Murnaghan interviews Nigel Sheinwald, Sky News, May 12, 2013It’s impossible to imagine British or American forces on the ground in Syria. The immediate issues are greater help, including military help, for the opposition and whether there are safe zones that could be established with the Turkish government.


  • FOR

  • Syria’s Hard Landing
    March Lynch, Center for a New American Security, February 2013Neither arming the rebels nor air strikes is likely to produce a rapid victory for the Syrian opposition or to transform the underlying political and strategic realities.
  • Arming Syria
    Gary Hart, The National Interest, June 20, 2013As we did not learn from the French in Vietnam nor the British (and the Russians) in Afghanistan, so a political tip-toe into the bitter social divisions of Syria, even in the worthy humanitarian cause, is perilous.
  • A Perilous ‘Searching for Monsters to Destroy’ in Syria
    John Nichols, The Nation, June 18, 2013While it can be argued that presidents have the authority to act unilaterally to repel attacks and defend the country, there is far less justification for the wars of whim and casual military engagements that have come to define the United States in the latter part of the twentieth century and the first part of the twenty-first.
  • The New Problem from Hell
    Aaron David Miller, Foreign Policy, June 12, 2013Obama’s options in Syria are awful. But the United States is headed for intervention anyway.
  • A Syrian Intervention Need Not Be Military-Focused
    Brian Katulis, U.S. News & World Report, February 14, 2012The United States has already intervened in Syria over the past year, and it should continue to do so with a focus on diplomacy aimed at getting other countries to pull their weight and exert their influence to stop the violence in Syria.
  • How to Lead on Syria
    Renanah Miles, The National Interest, June 28, 2013One thing is certain: the United States is unable and unwilling to pursue ambitious goals in Syria. But as the United States eases or slips into involvement, plans for the aftermath should still influence actions taken today.

  • Syria: The Need for Decisive U.S. Action
    Anthony Cordesman, Center for Strategic & International Studies, June 14, 2013The grim reality is that the Syrian civil war is part of a far broader power struggle that now ties the Levant and Gulf together, can greatly aid Iran, can further divide Islam between Sunnis and minorities like Shi’ites and Alewites, and affects every U.S. friend and ally in the region.
  • To Get a Truce, Be Ready to Escalate
    Wesley Clark, New York Times, June 17, 2013With a brutal dictator like Mr. Assad, only the knowledge that he cannot prevail will force him to negotiate an exit.
  • Syria’s Collapse
    Andrew Tabler, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2013To stop Syria’s meltdown and contain its mushrooming threats, the United States should launch a partial military intervention aimed at pushing all sides to the negotiating table.
  • Why the Current Syria Policy Doesn’t Make Sense
    Shadi Hamid, The Atlantic, June 17, 2013If the exceptionally dire circumstances of Syria -- of mass slaughter and the resulting destabilization of an entire region (including Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq) -- are not enough to trigger intervention, then what would?
  • Inching Into Syria
    Bill Keller, New York Times, June 2, 2013The dangers of intervention, even a carefully calibrated intervention, are real. But keeping our distance doesn’t avoid them. It just postpones them and raises the price.
  • The Great Bugout
    Thomas Donnelly, The Weekly Standard, June 21, 2013Syria is a consequence of Obama’s retreat from the Middle East.
  • Case for Intervention in Syria Stronger than in Libya
    Jamie Fly, U.S. News & World Report, February 14, 2012Assad is Iran’s closest ally in the region and has played host to Hezbollah and Hamas, his regime possesses chemical weapons, and he has allowed Syria to be a transit point for extremists entering Iraq.