Foreign Policy quotes Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic Hof on the effectiveness of the Syrian moderate opposition: 

Other former U.S. officials, however, suggest the opposition’s ineffectiveness should have been expected after Syria’s long bout of authoritarianism. “Look, Syria and Syrians were coming out of a 50-plus-year political coma [when the opposition bodies were formed],” said Fred Hof, a former special advisor on Syria at the State Department and currently a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. 

Hof said that rather than focusing on the Syrian coalition’s failings, President Barack Obama’s administration should be asking whether it did everything possible to give the moderate opposition a chance to succeed. “If we want the Syrian National Coalition to be an effective part of the anti-ISIL coalition, we’ll help it get into Syria,” he said. “If we want to bind anti-Assad Syrians to our anti-ISIL efforts, we’ll engage ISIL elements attacking nationalist forces and we’ll ground Assad’s air force. The challenge is less one of opposition dysfunction than it is our own.”

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Related Experts: Frederic C. Hof