The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Tracking the Issues: Gingrich Calls for Covert Operations in Syria

by Newsteam Staff
February 9, 2012

A Syrian woman living in Doha, Qatar, prays for the victims who were killed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces February 8, 2012. A Syrian woman living in Doha, Qatar, prays for the victims who were killed by Syrian forces, February 8, 2012. (Fadi Al-Assaad/Courtesy Reuters)

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that if elected president he would work with allies in the region to help defeat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “It’s clearly in our interests for Assad to be kicked out of power,” he said, adding that kicking Assad out of power also would be a blow to Syria’s ally Iran. Gingrich also said that he also supported funneling assets, including weapons, to help defeat the Syrian leader.

To see more about the candidates’ positions check out CFR’s Issue Tracker on Democracy Promotion in the Arab World.

Suggested Other Reading:

The New York Times Room for Debate asks experts whether Assad’s time is running out. CFR’s Ed Husain weighs in saying containing the conflict is in everyone’s interest.

Columbia University’s Joseph Massad rejects what he calls the “false choices” of fascism or imperialism for Syria, and argues for supporting home-grown struggles (al-Jazeera) for democratic transformation without U.S. or regional intervention.

Brookings Institute’s Shadi Hamid says this time the “anti-imperialists” are on the wrong side and favors international aid for Syria’s rebels.

- Liriel Higa, Contributing Editor

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