As U.S. secretary of state John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, recently negotiated the denouement of Russia’s very own “Syrian Missile Crisis” in Switzerland, the fate of the Middle Eastern stability is once again subject to the Great Powers.
The Obama administration’s unilateral threat of use of missile strikes against Syria, which was not authorized by the United Nations, has thus far been stopped by a Russian proposal for Syria to hand over its chemical-weapons stockpile and ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Reminiscent of October 1962, the Syrian president insists that the initiative is contingent on the U.S. ceasing “its policy on threatening Syria.” Such quid pro quo is subject to a myriad of technical problems in finding and destroying the stockpiles in a warzone. It also represents a considerable leap of faith by the U.S. government to test Syrian and Russian assurances and commitment to an international monitoring regime. Most importantly, however, negotiations take place in the shadow of the U.S.-Iranian nuclear standoff. So what’s at stake is not so much human security for Syrians or regional stability, but Obama’s nonproliferation credibility towards Iran, as well as Putin’s chauvinistic vision of Russia’s place in the world. READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE athttp://nationalinterest.org/commentary/why-no-middle-eastern-metternichs-9069