The Hill reports: A respected former career diplomat who served under the Obama administration doubts the U.S. can achieve a political resolution of the war in Syria without taking more dramatic measures — particularly imposing no-fly zones.
Retired Amb. Ryan Crocker, who President Obama picked as ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011, predicts the negotiations will go “nowhere” as long as Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is backed by Russia, believes he will prevail in the five-year civil war.
“I have the highest regard for Secretary Kerry, but this effort at a political negotiation is going to go nowhere because the Russians, the Iranians and Bashar Al-Assad think they’re on a roll — why should they negotiate?” Crocker said earlier this week at a breakfast in Washington.
The Obama administration has long insisted that Assad must leave in order for there to be peace in Syria, but the president seemed to soften his tone Friday during his last press conference of the year.
In contrast to his 2011 declaration that “Assad must go,” the president said Friday that “I think that Assad is going to have to leave.” [Continue reading…]