FPI Board of Directors Praise Congressional Leadership on Syria

March 22, 2013


Media Contact:
FPI Director of External Affairs Kali McNutt
202-296-3322 or kmcnutt@foreignpolicyi.org

Washington, D.C. – Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) Directors Eric Edelman, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, and Dan Senor today issued the following statement:

"This week, key members of Congress stepped into the void of U.S. leadership on the Syria conflict, calling for action to end the Assad regime's slaughter of the Syrian people and avoid an even greater regional catastrophe.

"We applaud the introduction of the Free Syria Act of 2013 by Congressmen Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Mike Rogers (R-MI).  This bill would support the deployment of anti-aircraft systems to prevent the Assad regime's air force from attacking free Syrians, allow the administration to seek out and destroy chemical and biological weapons in Syria, and provide urgently needed support to members of the Syrian opposition whose victory will be essential if Syria is to be free. 

"We also commend Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ), who in a letter to the President expressed their support for military action in order to degrade the Assad regime's airpower and to create a safe zone inside Syria's northern border, as well as to provide robust assistance directly to vetted opposition forces.  In addition, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Syria Democratic Transition Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill that would not only provide vetted opposition groups with non-lethal military equipment and training on human rights and international laws of war, but also impose harsher sanctions on the Central Bank of Syria.

"These measures are urgently needed.  The United States has a clear strategic interest in hastening the end of the Assad dictatorship and preserving influence in a post-Assad Syria.  The absence of U.S. leadership in Syria so far has not only emboldened Assad and his benefactors in Tehran and Moscow, but also angered American allies and friends in the region and created a vacuum in the anti-Assad movement that foreign extremists are eager to fill.

"We urge President Obama to work with these and other leaders in Congress to take the concrete and decisive steps that will be necessary to support Syria’s internal opposition and hasten the emergence of a post-Assad Syria that is free, stable, and does not tolerate terrorism."

- Click here to download a copy of this statement in PDF format

FPI Open Letters to the President

FPI Analyses, Op-eds, and Events

  • [Event] – The Consequences of Inaction In Syria – A Conversation with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and French Philosopher/Journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy, Moderated by FPI Director Robert Kagan – Foreign Policy Initiative – November 27, 2012
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Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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