Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic C. Hof is quoted in a Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial on Syria's rising death toll:

Still, the stakes are so grave that the Obama administration should back Brahimi's diplomacy, however scant the chances are that Assad will cede power or the opposition will share power. And the United States should consider other alternatives to either rally global consensus or to push for a quicker victory by the opposition.

The facts on the ground are that "arms are the coin of the realm -- the odds are very, very high that this issue is going to be settled by force of arms," former State Department diplomat Frederic C. Hof told a Star Tribune editorial writer. Hof, a former special adviser on Syria who is now a senior fellow with the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council, added that the United States has a choice: "whether to get into this arena and try to influence the outcome through groups or commanders who we would have some confidence in, or stand by the side and watch it play out."

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