'Moral and Strategic Failure'

Diplomatic corps, experts excoriate Obama's Syria policy


A group of diplomats has publicly challenged President Obama's policy in Syria, adding to a chorus of criticism that characterizes the White House's strategy as a moral and strategic failure.

Over the last five years, as many as 500,000 Syrians have been killed in a civil war while millions have been displaced. Despite early calls from those within his administration, Obama did not topple Syrian henchman Bashar al-Assad, instead allowing Iran and Russia to pursue their interests in the country.

Now a group of 50 U.S. State Department diplomats has made clear what is obvious to everyone outside the White House: the administration's Syria policy is a total failture.

The criticism from experts is loud and clear.

Here is former U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford:

The cessation of hostilities in Syria has broken down completely. The bombings of hospitals in Aleppo and Idlib are a violation of every human norm—and that’s not including the barrel bombs and the chemical weapons. The effort to get a political deal is going nowhere. The Assad government has refused to make any serious concessions. It won’t let in food aid, in violation of U.N. resolutions. And the Americans are watching it all happen. So the Dissent Channel message is a reflection of frustration by the people who are responsible for conducting policy on the ground. I felt that way when I left—and that was after Geneva II, in January-February, 2014.

Hope is not a policy.

The war has spiraled from a popular uprising demanding changes in the Syrian security establishments to an international conflict that has drawn in regional and international powers and destroyed large portions of Syria. It has also destabilized countries in Europe as well as spawned the most virulent form of Islamist extremism yet seen.

And here is the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal:

... the men and women at the State Department handling Syria are determined to make clear that the wreckage the world is witnessing in Syria is Mr. Obama’s handiwork, not theirs. They understand that Syria didn’t merely “happen” on Mr. Obama’s watch. It has unfolded so horribly because of the President’s abdication.

Mr. Obama came to office in 2009 scoring George W. Bush for the high price of his interventions abroad. In the human and strategic tragedy that is today’s Syria, the world is learning that the failure to intervene can exact an even higher price.

Obama's foreign policy legacy: emboldeing Iran, a terror state, to pursue nuclear weapons. Allowing the murder of half a million Syrians. Spawning ever-more extreme terror groups. Destabilizing Europe with millions of Syrian refugees.

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