• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Obama’s “Lead from Behind” Efforts in Syria are Failing

    Massimo Pizzotti Stock Connection Worldwide/Newscom

    Massimo Pizzotti Stock Connection Worldwide/Newscom

    On Wednesday the United Nations General Assembly voted on a resolution condemning the Syrian government’s forces while praising the opposition. Although the resolution passed, the non-binding text received less support than last year’s resolution condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. With support for Syria’s rebels waning, it is clear that the Obama Administration’s “lead from behind” efforts have left the Syrian opposition behind.

    When Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with President Obama at the White House on Thursday, he must be asking himself: What is Obama’s Syria policy? It is difficult to decipher, given the President’s various statements. But as Heritage’s Kim Holmes explains, unraveling the mystery of Obama’s Syria policy—in Sherlock Holmes’s famous words—is “elementary.”

    Back in August 2011, Obama said the “time has come for [Mr. Assad] to step aside.” One year later, he declared, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime that a red line for us is [if] we start seeing a whole bunch of [chemical] weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my equation.”

    More recently, Obama appeased the Russians by agreeing to another regional conference on Syria. Rather than leading to a peaceful settlement, it is more likely that another conference will simply prolong the brutal violence that has engulfed the nation and claimed already 80,000 lives.

    Simply put, Obama’s policy is muddled because he does not know what to do—he knows only that he does not want responsibility if things get worse. He seems to want to have his cake and eat it too.

    But if Obama hopes to achieve a stable—nonsectarian—tolerant Syria, doing nothing is not an option.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×