'In the final weekend before the presidential and other elections, ..... The losing party will have difficulty accepting the winning party’s legitimacy, let alone be ready to work with it constructively. In terms of American governance, therefore, the election will bring little clarity. The best that can be hoped for in terms of the “fiscal cliff” is that the plunge over it – scheduled at present for January 2nd, 2013, will be postponed for up to six month. This is an unpromising background for progress on foreign policy. Nonetheless, there are three outstanding issues which will present themselves as early priorities: 1) Syria: now that Secretary of State Clinton has announced that the US will seek a fundamental restructuring of the Syrian opposition in meetings in Doha next week, the time is more pressing for a more active US engagement in this issue. We still see no prospect for a heavy footprint US military intervention there, but the pace of US activity will accelerate. 2) Iran: in meetings with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton last week, Clinton explained that, while the run-up to a US election was an inappropriate time for action on this issue, the next Administration will move to grasp it more actively. Some debate is taking place behind closes doors about whether to harden US demands to the extent of requiring Iran to abandon its nuclear program totally before obtaining sanctions relief. We doubt that so uncompromising a policy will emerge, but it does signal that US attitudes are hardening. We anticipate that the spring and summer of 2013 will see tensions mount.....'
Saturday, November 3, 2012
New Administration: Syria: 'no prospect for a heavy footprint US military intervention there, but the pace of US activity will accelerate'
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 5:30 PM