Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Syria: Humanitarian Disaster–and Strategic Threat

by Elliott Abrams
June 15, 2014


The chaos in Iraq has many roots in Syria, where for two years jihadi groups have been gathering and gaining strength. I’ve just published an “Expert Brief” on Syria for the Council on Foreign Relations, which can be found here.

The brief covers the background and current situation, the failure of American policy, the costs of that failure, and the policy changes needed now. “The early goal of a quick departure for Assad and transition to democracy in Syria is now impossible to attain,” the brief argues. “More disorder and suffering are certain. But Syria need not be an endless source of refugees, a center of inhuman suffering at the hands of a vicious minority regime, and a worldwide gathering place for jihadi extremists.” What is unfolding in Iraq should make us even more determined to change policy in Syria.


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