The Christian Science Monitor quotes Resident Senior Fellow in the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East Frederic Hof on how US-Russia relations impact crises such as Syria and Ukraine:
The Ukraine crisis is a “bold-faced punctuation mark” that confirms the failure of current US policy on Syria, according to Frederic Hof, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and a former special adviser to the Obama administration for transition in Syria.
The Assad regime’s recent territorial gains are far short of outright victory and it’s unclear whether the overstretched Syrian Army and its allies can hold the ground against future rebel counter-attacks. Nevertheless, the regime is in a stronger position than at this time last year, underlined by Assad’s decision to hold a presidential election on June 3 to boost his legitimacy.
“It took the disaster of Geneva itself… to convince the Obama administration that he who is winning on the ground is not likely to yield in the conference room… Moscow will not pull Washington’s chestnuts out of the fire for Syria or anything else,” says Mr. Hof, a critic of the administration’s Syria policy since resigning early last year.