Punishing Syria: Questions Abound on How, When, and the Consequences
Source Newsroom: American University
WHO: American University Experts
WHAT: Implications for Punishing Syria for Chemical Weapons Use
WHEN: August 30 - ongoing
WHERE: In-studio, via telephone, at American University
Washington, D.C. (August 30, 2013) – A host of questions and concerns are being debated in how exactly the United States and international community should respond to the use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians allegedly by the Syrian government. American University experts are available to discuss and analyze the various policy debates, consequences, and implications of retaliating for the use of chemical weapons.
United Nations Action/Response
David Bosco, assistant professor of International Politics, served as a political analyst and journalist in Bosnia and Herzegovina and as deputy director of a joint United Nations/NATO project on repatriating refugees in Sarajevo. He is author of Five to Rule Them All (Oxford University Press, 2009), a history of the UN Security Council. Bosco currently writes the Multilateralist blog for Foreign Policy magazine. He is available to discuss the international policies and practices governing a response to Syria from the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and other issues pertaining to the United Nations and Syria.
U.S. Foreign Policy
James Goldgeier, dean of American University’s School of International Service, is a U.S. foreign policy expert who has held positions in the State Department and National Security Council staff. Goldgeier formerly served as director of George Washington University’s Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. He is the author of the critically acclaimed, America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11 (co-authored with Derek Chollet), Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (co-authored with Michael McFaul—The U.S.’s current ambassador to Russia.) Goldgeier is available to discuss U.S. bilateral relations with Russia and how events in Syria could further chill relations after Obama’s recent postponement of a visit to Moscow and the Snowden affair.
Benjamin Jensen, assistant professor in the International Politics and U.S. Foreign Policy Programs, focuses his research on international security, international relations theory, conflict analysis, and conflict resolution. Jensen is an expert on command and control, intelligence, counterinsurgency, and stability and support operations. Jensen teaches at the Marine Corp Staff College and is an officer in the U.S. Army National Guard. Jensen is available to discuss how U.S. retaliation could lead to greater engagement in Syria’s civil war and the consequences of retaliation years later as evidenced by the Lockerbie bombing, U.S.S. Cole attack, and 9/11.
Russia and Syria
Anton Fedyashin, executive director of American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture, is a specialist in Russian and European history. His area of concentration is imperial Russian history, although his courses, conference papers, and publications cover the entire modern period from the imperial to the post-Soviet era. He is available to discuss Russia's stance on Syria and whether it will impact the G-20.
Gordon Adams, professor of U.S. Foreign Policy, has published widely on defense and national security policy, the defense policy process, and national security budgets. Adams is available to discuss the military responses in Syria from cruise missile attacks to more intensive no-fly zones and other military options in the current sequester environment where the Pentagon is facing deep cuts. Adams can explain his confidence in the U.S. armed forces to complete any mission despite budget cuts.
President & War Powers
Chris Edelson, assistant professor in the department of government focuses his research on constitutional interpretation, presidential power, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Of particular interest to Edleson is national security and the “War on Terror” and the tensions between Congress and presidential powers as it relates to the War Powers Act. Edelson authored an LA Times op-ed explaining the obstacles President Obama faces in responding to Syria based on his previous statements supporting the War Powers Act.
Geopolitics of Oil
Jeff Colgan, assistant professor in American University’s School of International Service, focuses his research on the geopolitics of oil, international security, and international political economy. In his new (2013) book, Petro-Aggression: When Oil Causes War he presents a new theory of why oil is linked to international conflict: petrostates with revolutionary governments have a much higher propensity to instigate militarized conflict than other types of states. Colgan is available to discuss how the conflict in Syria could impact the oil producing countries of the region should the conflict broaden.
Impact on Israel/Security Concerns
Guy Ziv, assistant professor in the School of International Service's U.S. Foreign Policy Program can speak to the stark choices facing the U.S. as it prepares to respond to Syria's use of chemical weapons and the implications of the turmoil in Syria on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Ziv’s research focuses on foreign policy decision-making, the influence of think tanks in U.S. foreign policy, and the role of political elites in the Arab-Israeli conflict.