As chaos grows across the Middle East, the civil war in Syria rages on. Syria’s Bashar Assad has done everything possible to stay in power, including ruthless crackdowns and indiscriminate military strikes that have left over 25, 000 Syrians dead. Even with such brutal tactics, Assad has not held onto power on his own. Support from other nations, specifically Russia and Iran, have helped keep Assad in power. By providing Syria with weapons and diplomatic cover, Russia is pursuing a Middle East policy that is designed to reduce U.S. and Western influence in the region, even at the risk of fanning Islamist terrorism. Moscow is trying to prove – in the Middle East and worldwide – that it is a reliable ally and weapons supplier by leading an anti-Western and anti-Sunni axis in Syria. While Russia continues to play hardball, the Obama Administration’s response falls short, failing to “name and shame” Russia’s protection of Assad’s murderous regime.
Join us for an exciting discussion of the important issues surrounding the Russian-Syrian relationship and what the United States should do.