In Washington, new voices urging no-fly zones; France reportedly supports “liberated zones”, moves towards supply of weapons—Obama’s Debacle in Syria — Update #84 (September 5)

Recent News and Opinion on Syria

James Traub, “The Obama administration has backed itself into a corner in Syria, a crisis with few good options; But the endgame is clear, at least, and the time to get involved has come,” Foreign Policy, August 31, 2012.

John Irish (Paris) – September 5 -“France gives Syria “liberated zones” aid, mulls weapons – source; France providing help in three provinces – source; Source says Paris considering idea of supplying artillery; French increase contact with Syrian rebels,” Reuters, September 6, 2012.

Recommendation

The United States, France and the United Kingdom should invite Russia and China to join in the establishment of an independent working group to examine the experience in Libya by NATO and other powers acting pursuant to a Security Council resolution authorizing the use of “all necessary measures” to protect the civilian population against attacks by Qaddafi’s forces.

The terms of reference of the study group should be to identify specific points of disagreement regarding implementation actions by NATO and others in Libya, and to engage in discussions aimed at developing acceptable parameters for appropriate authorization by the security council of intervention in other situations. The focus should not be explicitly on Syria, though should common understandings develop they could of course have an impact on discussions among the five permanent members of the Security Council relating to Syria.

The Trenchant Observer

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