Contributor Perspectives

Unpromising Choices in Syria

Philip Bobbitt
Board of Contributors
Oct 21, 2015 | 08:00 GMT
A picture taken on March 15, 2014 shows part of the seven-square-kilometre (2.8-square-mile) Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan near the border with Syria which provides shelter to around 100,000 Syrian refugees. Syrian refugees in the sprawling desert camp in Jordan fear that President Bashar al-Assad's likely re-election this year will leave their dream of a return home as distant as ever. The brutal war in Syria between the regime and its foes shows no sign of abating and has killed at least 146,000

A picture taken on March 15, 2014 shows part of the seven-square-kilometre (2.8-square-mile) Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan near the border with Syria which provides shelter to around 100,000 Syrian refugees. Syrian refugees in the sprawling desert camp in Jordan fear that President Bashar al-Assad's likely re-election this year will leave their dream of a return home as distant as ever. The brutal war in Syria between the regime and its foes shows no sign of abating and has killed at least 146,000 people since it erupted in mid-March 2011. And 2.5 million Syrians have fled abroad and another 6.5 million have been internally displaced. Jordan is home to more than 500,000 of the refugees.

(KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images)

I don't envy the officials in Washington who are tasked with forming a plan to resolve, or at least mitigate, the crisis in Syria. One in every four refugees in the world is a Syrian. The United Nations estimates that more than 200,000 persons have died in the conflict; the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that figure is over 320,000. The United States has four main options for addressing the Syrian crisis, none of which are particularly promising....

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