June 5, 2014

“SMART DIPLOMACY” UPDATE: Former Obama Ambassador Blasts Syria Policy Failures.

President Obama’s former Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, publicly lambasted the Administration yesterday, stating that its Syria policy was a failure, and that he resigned because he could no longer support it. He further argued that timely intervention could have empowered moderates and prevented violent jihadists from gaining the upper hand in the Syrian resistance. Instead, new terrorist threats are now emerging, not just in Syria but in the U.S. and Europe. . . .

Obama personally selected Ford as his Ambassador to Syria, going so far as to give him a recess appointment in the teeth of Republican resistance. Ford now joins the ranks of former Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates and Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in criticizing their old boss’s Syria strategy. Ford made it crystal clear that “it’s on record now that the State Department, for a long time, has advocated doing much more to help the moderates in the Syrian opposition.” Such blunt comments from an ex-official make it clear that America’s inaction was a personal decision of the President, made against the counsel of his advisers.

As an example of his security concerns, Ford cited Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, an American citizen and Florida native who drove a truck full of explosives into a Syrian Army outpost in a suicide attack on behalf of Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate. Abu-Salha’s case exemplifies a much wider failure. Not only have we renounced control of the Syria situation; the U.S. can’t even gather enough intelligence to keep track of what’s going on there.

Deploy the hashtags!