Rafik Hariri Center Resident Senior Fellow Frederic C. Hof cowrites for The Guardian on the steps needed for the United States to assist Syria in overcoming its current crisis:

Moscow and Tehran see Isis as their barrel bomber’s ticket back to polite society and the tool that can force President Obama to eat his August 2011 words calling on Assad to step aside. They know that the Assad regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity produce recruits for Isis. Not a problem for them.

The ultimate solution involves political legitimacy: inclusive, non-sectarian governance based on consent of the governed and rule of law. That solution may be decades away. The first order of business is to alter the trajectory that has transformed Syria’s internal agony into a regional crisis and now a demographic tidal wave washing over western Europe. How to do it? The United States should take the lead.

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