Syria: Effective American Leadership Needed
Michael Cunningham /
Syria’s long-suffering people need U.S. leadership, and they need it now.
The situation is dire as activists say more than 14,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011.
But effective action has been held up at the United Nations due to Russia’s diplomatic protection of the Assad regime, which it is aiding.
On Thursday, Russia withdrew its support of a U.N. plan for a national unity government in Syria, because Moscow refuses to support the ousting of the murderous Assad regime. In fact, Russia has actively helped prolong the violence through its continued supply of weapons to the regime. And rather than helping Syria to become a safer, more secular nation, Russia still insists on including state sponsors of terror and Islamist states such as Iran to help resolve the situation.
If the crisis in Syria is to be resolved, it needs U.S. leadership to ensure peace and stability.
Writing in the Washington Times, The Heritage Foundation’s Kim Holmes argues that the U.S. needs to lead a successful strategy that replaces the Assad regime with one that rejects terrorist organizations and respects its people and neighbors. Washington can do this by helping to shape the Syrian opposition.
This strategy would be difficult, because the anti-Assad force is fragmented along ethnic, sectarian, ideological, and geographic lines, but the U.S. can establish closer ties to non-Islamist groups and form a strategic coordinating group that “believes in a free Syria and is willing to help create it, ” as Holmes writes.
“We should measure the effectiveness of American leadership,” Holmes says, “not by whether we use force or not, but whether our strategy succeeds.”