Has Damascus Stopped Supporting Terrorists?

[Middle East Quarterly] Ryan Mauro - The Assad regime sponsors terrorism because it is a regime based on terrorism. It seeks to use terrorists to defeat the U.S. in the region, thwart the development of democracies in Lebanon and Iraq, and to employ terror as a means of waging war against Israel. Outmatched by the weapons the West possesses, Syria repeatedly turns to unconventional means. Terror sponsorship also creates a dependency upon the Assad regime, making it counterproductive for the forces of Islamic extremism to wage war against it. Any strategy to tackle Assad's support for terrorism must rely on more than engagement and shuttle diplomacy. Rather than allowing terrorism to be an effective tool of diplomacy, such actions must be met with economic sanctions and international pressure. Every move by Syria should be countered and the regime must see only loss from its support of terrorism. Finally, the West should assist the development of the democratic opposition forces in Syria, however weak they may be.

2009-07-23 06:00:00

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