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What Does the US Want in Syria?

After seven years of bloodshed across shifting battlefronts, the conflict in Syria has become so complicated that a workable resolution seems all but impossible anytime soon. And the United States' failure to define its long-term interests in the country and the region is not making matters any easier.

DENVER – Given that most of the Middle East is now in a state of turmoil, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should be commended for keeping the Syrian conflict in mind during his recent trip to the region.

His job hasn’t been easy. American diplomacy has been all but invisible in the Middle East, and the State Department does not seem to have any ideas or, more importantly, funding with which to take the lead. If the United States is serious about addressing the increasingly deadly crisis in Syria, it needs to start showing sustained interest – and put its money where its mouth is.

The complexity of the situation in Syria has far surpassed the world’s capacity to master it. Rapidly changing events, a growing number of players, and constantly shifting battle lines all point to a quagmire.

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