Just three years ago, it appeared that dictatorships in the Middle East might become replaced by democracies. Now, these same regimes have found ways to use the electoral process to maintain power or attain it.
Thousands have flooded the voting booths for the Syrian presidential elections in places like Lebanon and Jordan.
The Syrian military’s recapture of Yabroud has severely weakened an already fragmented opposition.
If the joint efforts of the United States and Russia in Syria are to succeed, they must attain a ceasefire between Bashar al-Assad’s armed forces and the opposition, and discover and destroy all chemical weapons in Syria.
The world watches and waits to hear if the Assad government will give up Syria’s chemical weapons stock.
Although Vladimir Putin used his New York Times op-ed to reiterate his position on Syria in an aggressive tone, there is now a potentially productive discussion of Assad’s chemical weapons underway.
If the conflict in Syria is to be resolved, it is important to go beyond the chemical attack issue and work through a political process that would end the war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s New York Times op-ed does not complicate international negotiations over Syria’s chemical weapons. Contrary to common perceptions, Putin is pragmatic and capable of making deals.
A Russia-brokered deal, which seeks to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, provides the Obama administration with breathing room but fails to solve the fundamental issues driving the Syrian conflict.
In his New York Times op-ed, Vladimir Putin asserts that Russia is not supporting Assad as an ally, but it is supporting the world order, centered on the U.N. Security Council.