Damascus Syria Mohammed Eyad/ZumaPress

Solving Syria in the Security Council

The ongoing bloodletting in Syria is not only the world's greatest humanitarian disaster by far, but also represents one of its gravest geopolitical risks. And America's current approach – a two-front war against the Islamic State and President Bashar al-Assad's regime – has failed miserably.

NEW YORK – The ongoing bloodletting in Syria is not only the world’s greatest humanitarian disaster by far, but also one of its gravest geopolitical risks. And the United States’ current approach – a two-front war against the Islamic State and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime – has failed miserably. The solution to the Syrian crisis, including the growing refugee crisis in Europe, must run through the United Nations Security Council.

The roots of US strategy in Syria lie in a strange– and unsuccessful – union of two sources of American foreign policy. One comprises the US security establishment, including the military, the intelligence agencies, and their staunch supporters in Congress. The other source emerges from the human-rights community. Their peculiar merger has been evident in many recent US wars in the Middle East and Africa. Unfortunately, the results have been consistently devastating.

The security establishment is driven by US policymakers’ long-standing reliance on military force and covert operations to topple regimes deemed to be harmful to American interests. From the 1953 toppling of Mohammad Mossadegh’s democratically elected government in Iran and the “other 9/11” (the US-backed military coup in 1973 against Chile’s democratically elected Salvador Allende) to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria, regime change has long been the coin of the US security realm.

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