Nothing highlights these failures more vividly than the administration’s abandonment of the Free Syrian Army and other moderate opposition forces in Syria. President Obama specifically committed to us in the Oval Office that his strategy in Syria was to degrade the Assad regime’s military capabilities, upgrade the capabilities of the moderate opposition and shift the momentum on the battlefield, leading to a negotiated end to the conflict and the departure of President Bashar al-Assad from power.
We have seen no indication that this commitment has been honored or implemented. In fact, Assad and his forces continue to terrorize the Syrian people as military assistance and fighters continue to flow in from Hezbollah and Iran. Meanwhile, Russia assists in the removal of Assad’s chemical weapons while resupplying Assad’s forces with conventional weapons that are used to murder Syrian civilians by the tens of thousands — a bizarre set of circumstances. Obviously, Syria is now a regional sectarian conflict that has spread to the surrounding nations, threatening U.S. national security interests and those of our closest partners. Consequently, any hope of ending this conflict through a negotiation in Geneva next month has little to no chance of success.