Business Insider quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic Hof on President Obama’s strategy regarding the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham as well as the ongoing crisis in Syria:
The only course of action that makes sense to me is to try to build a Syrian force capable of defeating any combination of enemies in the course of stabilizing Syria,” Fred Hof, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and a former special advisor for transition in Syria at the U.S. Department of State, told Business Insider.
“If the creation and deploying of this force persuades or compels the Assad regime to engage in genuine political negotiations, fine. A Goldilocks approach of trying to recruit and build a force just good enough to beat ISIL but not quite good enough to the beat the regime simply won’t work.”
Designing such a force would be problematical and frankly I do not know of any Syrian nationalist opponents of the regime and ISIL who would be attracted to the lop-sided proposition as described,” Hof told Business Insider. “Syrians have, after all, suffered much more from Assad than they have from ISIL to date. As we try to square the circle of a purely American policy debate we’ll have to keep in mind that Syrians will have a vote.”