Speaking to CBC News, Ahmed Rashid and Carnegie's Thomas Carothers discussed the prospect of a deal to secure and remove Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles. Carothers argued that the deal, brokered by Russia, provided the Obama administration with some breathing room but fails to solve the fundamental issues driving the conflict in Syria. Turning to Russian intentions in negotiating the deal, Carothers and Rashid contended that Russia hopes to solidify the Syrian position. Carothers suggested that the best-case outcome is that with international officials on the ground, the Syrian government will be more wary of perpetrating atrocities, and some potential exists to move toward a ceasefire. The interviewees also discussed Vladimir Putin's New York Times op-ed, which Rashid believed will be favorably interpreted in Russia, and which Carothers viewed, despite some spurious statements, as a potentially successful appeal to Americans for international stability and order.
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