Houston Matters

Is There A Military Solution To Syria? Former U.S. Ambassador Says No

As President Obama continues to try to convince Congress and the nation that a military strike against Syria is necessary — a former United States ambassador to Syria says military action won't solve the problems in that country.

Edward Djerejian was ambassador to Syria from 1989 to 1991. He is a longtime diplomat who has served under eight administrations and is the founding director of the Baker Institute at Rice University.

Djerejian was a guest on Houston Matters. He says during his time as ambassador to Syria it was well-known that the government was building a size-able chemical weapons arsenal.

“My view, my basic view is that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis, there can only be a political solution.”

Djerejian says whatever the United States does in terms of military action should be part of an overarching strategy to assist the rebel forces and bring political stability to Syria.

“And we should have been doing this, frankly, a year and a half ago. But that we should be contemplating giving them humanitarian, economic and military assistance to try to level the political military playing field so the regime and the opposition would then be in a situation where they could negotiate with one another on a more equal level.”

Djerejian says in his opinion, the U.S. should help mediate a compromise between the Assad regime and rebel forces, which would prevent radical groups from taking over power in Syria while also loosening the tight control held by the dictator.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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