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Idea of the Day: We Need to Rethink Our Policy on Syria

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Syria’s ongoing civil war is both a humanitarian catastrophe and a major threat to U.S. national security interests at a time of great uncertainty and turmoil in the Middle East. The conflict continues with no end in sight; growing numbers of refugees are flowing into neighboring countries; and the instability within Syria threatens to spread throughout the region. The United States has sought Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s removal from power without the result of a failed state. More than two years into the conflict, however, the state is collapsing, the country is fragmenting, and Assad remains in power.

Given the negative evolution of the Syrian conflict, current U.S. policy is not sustainable and does not effectively advance U.S. regional interests and values, as witnessed in February when three senior American Progress staff—Michael Werz, Tom Perriello, and Winnie Stachelberg—took a weeklong trip to the region.

It is time for a change in policy. The United States needs to increase its assistance to the Syrian opposition with the goal of supporting an alternative opposition government that is better organized than at present.

For more on this topic, please see:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or cpatterson@americanprogress.org

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or lhamilton@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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