U.S. Sees Opening For Change in Syria

(Washington Post) Robin Wright - The long-term U.S. goal toward Syria is to break the 35-year hold of the Assad family and allow Syrians to freely pick a new government. But in the short term, the administration is somewhat reluctantly opting to let the UN investigation and the subsequent judicial process, combined with punitive UN sanctions, erode Assad's power - and see if he then changes Syrian practices in the region, U.S. officials said. After an intense hunt for alternatives, the Bush administration has concluded that there is no political party strong enough and sufficiently friendly to endorse as a replacement for Assad. Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, Syria has few democratic exile groups. A more aggressive policy of "regime change" could backfire, U.S. officials said.

2005-10-24 00:00:00

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