- The establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers – which includes members of the government and opposition.
- The establishment of a meaningful national dialogue process.
- Review of the constitutional order and legal system.
- Free and fair multiparty elections.
- Full representation of women in all aspects of the transition.
The US and UK have been discussing Syria today, calling it “the most urgent crisis in the world today“. What’s clear from the speech is that there doesn’t seem to be a solution to the crisis offered here. Hague argues that “The United Kingdom believes that the situation demands a strong, coordinated and determined approach by the UK, The US and our allies in Europe and the region”, but then goes on to argue that “We agreed today that our priority remains to see a diplomatic process in Geneva that succeeds in reaching a negotiated end to the conflict”.
This doesn’t strike me as a “strong” position, but rather defaulting to the Geneva 2 process and waiting to see what happens. This is especially the case is as Carnegie Endowment scholar Yezid Sayigh is right that the conference may well not take place (Here). It would appear that it is a rather weak position because all of our eggs are in one basket with out a clear solution to the crisis emerging.
The daily beast is reporting that behind the closed doors of a McCain Institute event, President Clinton is contrasting his intervention in Kosovo with the lack of intervention in Syria. He claims that Obama risks looking like a “Wuss” , a “Fool” and “Lame”. These are strong words, and break from the usual convention of former President’s not commenting directly on the current President’s foreign policy.
This will no doubt add pressure on the White House, and strengthen those already within the US foreign policy bureaucracy advocating a shift in policy. What’s more, it appears that Clinton has set out a national security rationale for intervention.
The positive side of this for the Obama administration is that if he pulls of the aims of Geneva 2, then he will be able to lay claim to a distinctive Obama Doctrine – negotiation before intervention, accepting America’s perceived decline, and redefining America’s role in the world far more cautiously. This is a Doctrine that mixes selective-engagement (which argues that he U.S. should seek a balance of power that allows for peace amongst major global powers, restricts its
definitions of national interests, and uses force discriminately) with cooperative security (which seeks a more interdependent world based on the indivisibility of peace, where national interests are defined more transnationally).
See the Daily Beast’s article Here
- Bill Clinton Breaks With Obama On Syria, Warns He Risks Looking Like ‘Total Fool,’ ‘Wuss’ (mediaite.com)
- Bill Clinton: Obama may look like a ‘wuss’ and ‘total fool’ on Syria (deathandtaxesmag.com)
- Bill Clinton Criticizes Obama on Syria (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Bill Clinton says Obama could look like “a total fool” on Syria (rare.us)
- Bill Clinton splits with President Obama on Syria… (yallasouriya.wordpress.com)
- Bill Clinton splits with Obama on Syria (secretsofthefed.com)
- Bill Clinton Lectures Obama on Syria (algemeiner.com)
- Book: Bill Clinton called Obama ‘incompetent’ (upi.com)
- Rice and Power = US Intervention in Syria? (ozhassan.wordpress.com)