A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Syrian Deal in the Making?

The US Administration has been rather quick to seize upon a possible exit from the dilemma it faces in Syria, where the prospect of winning support from Congress is rapidly receding and there seemed to be few favorable outcomes, the idea that Syria might give up its chemical arsenal in exchange for no US strike seems suddenly to be a realistic exit strategy that could avoid conflict. And if this proves to be a workable deal (far from certain), Vladimir Putin will deserve credit for helping throw the US a lifeline. And in the short term at least, the Senate vote has been postponed, and thus the ticking clock has been reset. At a moment when Syria and the US were eyeball to eyeball (to quote the late Dean Rusk), the Russians may be able to broker a deal which removes the chemicals from the table with neither side visibly blinking. The turnaround in rhetoric from just a day ago is striking.

But it is also worth remembering that, as I noted earlier today in a post, former Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin proposed a similar solution over a week ago.

1 comment:

David Mack said...

This could be the best possible outcome for almost everyone involved. Exception would be those Syrian rebel leaders who were counting on a military strike to up their chances, already slight, of a swift military victory over the Syrian regime. It will increase somewhat the chances for a negotiated transition of power involving elements of the regime and the more responsible Syrian rebel leaders. Let's see if U.S. and Russians can build on the breathing space a deal on the CW would give them.