Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said the U.S. needs to become more involved in Syria if the Obama administration wishes to see any change in conditions conducive to American interests Wednesday in a House Foreign Affairs committee hearing.
While the best future course of action is hotly debated, Tabler noted, the White House's Syrian policy is not working. "What we're doing until now is not working in terms of pursuing our interests, whether they're getting Assad to step aside or to undermine extremism in the region," the witness said.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.) added he was not sure if "anybody really knows what our policy is right now."
ADAM KINZINGER: Well, and I think, just to tag on, basically the U.S. has to get more involved or the U.S. has to accept the chaos that's going to follow.
ANDREW TABLER: Right. The — it would be hard to see how the situation in Syria gets better towards our interests without more American involvement. The question is, what is the degree of that involvement? And that's where, until now, it's still, you know, hotly debated. But what we can definitely say is that what we're doing until now is not working in terms of pursuing our interests, whether they're getting Assad to step aside or to undermine extremism in the region or a lot of other issues that we pursue in the region as a whole. The question is what to do next.
KINZINGER: I don't think anybody really knows what our policy is right now.
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TABLER: There is extreme confusion, even among those of us that have followed this for a long time, and even those that have contact with the administration, about how the administration would pursue and achieve its conflicting goals. That's —
KINZINGER: And there's a lot of confusion among our allies as well, which is just as disheartening.
TABLER: And anger.
KINZINGER: Yeah. With that, Mr. Chairman, I'll yield back. Thank you. Right on time too.