The U.S. Has No Dog In The Fight In Syria | All Debates | Debates | IQ2US Debates

User login

Join The Debate

Cast your vote and join the conversation.

Membership is free.


Get Started

Error message

  • Notice: Undefined offset: 0 in get_vote_block_localized_data() (line 64 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/bfm_debates.vote.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in get_vote_block_localized_data() (line 64 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/bfm_debates.vote.inc).
  • Notice: Undefined property: Drupal\Debates\Models\DebateModel::$type in Drupal\Debates\Models\DebateModel->getType() (line 17 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/models/debate.inc).
  • Notice: Undefined offset: 0 in get_vote_block_localized_data() (line 70 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/bfm_debates.vote.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in get_vote_block_localized_data() (line 70 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/bfm_debates.vote.inc).
  • Notice: Undefined offset: 0 in get_vote_block_localized_data() (line 73 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/bfm_debates.vote.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in get_vote_block_localized_data() (line 73 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/bfm_debates.vote.inc).
  • Notice: Undefined property: Drupal\Debates\Models\DebateModel::$state in Drupal\Debates\Models\DebateModel->getState() (line 32 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/models/debate.inc).
  • Notice: Undefined property: Drupal\Debates\Models\DebateModel::$questions in Drupal\Debates\Models\DebateModel->getQuestions() (line 58 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/models/debate.inc).
  • Strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in include() (line 25 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/html/field-vote-standard.inc).
  • Strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in include() (line 30 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/html/field-vote-standard.inc).
  • Notice: Undefined index: und in handle_ds_field_results() (line 6 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/display-suite/field-results.inc).
  • Notice: Undefined index: und in handle_ds_field_results() (line 7 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/display-suite/field-results.inc).
  • Notice: Undefined variable: html in _bfm_debates_streaming_debate_ticker_block() (line 1033 of /var/www/vhosts/www.intelligencesquaredus.org/www/sites/all/modules/custom/bfm_debates/inc/bfm_debates.blocks.inc).

You are here

Debates

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

Back To Debate
Podcasts
Download Transcript
Live Transcript
  • Burns: Three Vital US Interests At Stake in Syria

    Clip: Diplomat and foreign affairs expert Nicholas Burns cites three vital reasons the Syrian conflict should matter to every American.

  • Falkenrath: No Syrian Opposition for the US to Support

    Clip: Former Deputy Homeland Security Advisor Richard Falkenrath asks how the U.S. can have a dog in the fight with Syria when there is no dog to support adding America has no clear allies on the ground in the Syrian Civil War.

  • What Is the Ideal Strategy for the US in Syria?

    Clip: Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Graham Allison and former British Ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald debate why the ideal outcome in Syria hinges on either the U.S further engaging itself in the conflict or maintaining the status quo.

  • Who are the Opposition? Should US Recognize, Support?

    Clip: Debaters discuss the nature of the opposition forces in Syria. Quoting the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey, Graham Allison argues that the U.S. has a "very opaque understanding of the opposition."

  • Under What Circumstances is Military Action Appropriate?

    Clip: Nick Burns, Graham Allison, and Nigel Sheinwald attempt to answer under what circumstances U.S. military action would be appropriate in the Syrian Civil War.

Debate Details

There are certain international crises that on their face demand the immediate and urgent attention of presidents. We all know them when we see them—and so does the man in the White House. Saddam's invasion of Kuwait comes to mind—an easy call. But there are other situations where the call may be tougher to make. Bosnia got a president's attention; Rwanda did not. And what about Syria—now in the midst of a civil war and humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions. Certainly there are U.S. interests at stake, but are they vital interests? And what of President Obama's response so far: it has been deliberately limited, but should he go further, and with what sorts of options? Military intervention? Something else? Something less? One thing is certain: Syria is not one of those easy calls. It's what we're debating in Aspen, when we take on the topic: The U.S. has no dog in the fight in Syria.

The Debaters

For the motion

Richard Falkenrath

Principal, The Chertoff Group & Former Deputy Homeland Security Advisor

Richard Falkenrath, Deputy Assistant to President Bush and former Deputy Homeland Security Advisor, has held a range of leadership positions in U... Read More

Graham Allison

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy and Plans

Graham Allison is Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy... Read More

Against the motion

R. Nicholas Burns

Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs & Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government

Nicholas Burns, a career foreign service officer, is Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School... Read More

Sir Nigel Sheinwald

Former British Ambassador to the U.S.

Sir Nigel Sheinwald was British Ambassador to the United States for five years (2007-2012). Previously, he served as Foreign Policy and Defence Adviser... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • There are no vital American interests in this conflict.
  • The opposition is a fractured group that is becoming increasingly radical Islamist.
  • U.S. aid would almost certainly backfire in the future.
  • Any military intervention by the U.S. will lead to an escalation in what has become a regional proxy war.
Against The Motion
  • The U.S. cannot afford to allow the conflict to further destabilize the region.
  • A win for Assad will be a win for Iran and Hezbollah.
  • The security of Syria's chemical weapons, the largest stockpile in the Middle East, is at risk of falling into the hands of terrorists.
  • The death toll has topped 100,000 and the number of refugees is in the millions—the U.S. has a responsibility to act during this humanitarian crisis.

This vote is intended to capture your opinions before hearing tonight’s debate.

Cast Your Vote

This vote is intended to capture your opinions after hearing tonight’s debate.

Cast Your Vote

Before you cast your vote, share some information with us:

{{ errors.first('email') }}

{{ errors.first('first name') }}

{{ errors.first('last name') }}


Are you sure?

{{ currentQuestion }} of {{ questions.length }}

Are you sure?

Are you sure?

{{ currentQuestion }} of {{ questions.length }}

Are you sure?

Review your answers below:

: {{ preVote[i] }}


Review your answers below:

: {{ preVote[i] }}


Post-debate voting in

{{ days }}d {{ hours }}h {{ minutes }}m {{ seconds }}s


Please enjoy the debate and come back afterwards to cast your Post-Debate vote

Tell Us More

Before you cast your final vote, please tell us how you watched the debate

I listened to the podcast or read the transcript.
I watched it online.
I attended the debate live.
I haven't seen it yet.
OK

Tell us why you changed your mind:

Send
For the Motion Against the Motion Undecided
For the Motion Against the Motion Undecided

: {{ preVote[i] }}

: {{ postVote[i] }}


Donate to IQ2US

Thank you for joining us! Enter your email address below to receive the post-debate analysis and debate updates from IQ2US.

Learn About Voting
IQ2US debates are designed to expose audiences to civilized debate featuring opposing points of view. Please vote with your most genuine opinion.

Results

  • Live Audience
  • Online Audience
  • Results
  • Breakdown
Pre-Debate
Post-Debate

The Research

The Research

Syria's Crisis and the Global Response

Jonathan Masters
May 8, 2013

CFR’s backgrounder on the Syrian conflict.

Syria: The Need for Decisive U.S. Action

Anthony Cordesman
June 14, 2013

The 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.

Syria's Hard Landing

March Lynch
February 1, 2013

Neither 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.

Please choose what best describes why this comment is being flagged:

The Discussion

or and Join the Conversation
Load More Comments