Obama Administration Unprepared if Assad Falls

U.S. training program for Syrian rebels criticized as slow, ineffective

The Obama administration has yet to outline a strategy for responding to the potential downfall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, even as his hold on power grows tenuous in the fourth year of a civil war.

President Obama has so far avoided intervening in the Syrian war, which he says is a fulfillment of his pledge to not become ensnared in another land conflict in the Middle East. He sided against his top advisers in 2012 when he declined to arm the nationalist rebels battling Assad, and he reversed a decision in 2013 to strike the Syrian regime after it was accused of launching a chemical weapons attack that killed almost 1,500 people. The administration later reached a deal with Russia to remove much of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. Continue reading