Obama's national security adviser pushes for strike on Syria
Susan Rice, U.S. President Barack Obama's national security adviser, on Monday pushed for a military strike against Syria, saying it won't be another war such as Iraq or Afghanistan, while outlining the U.S. plan for a post- strike political settlement to resolve the underlying conflict in that country.
Delivering a speech at the New America Foundation, a Washington thinktank, Rice reiterated the accusation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime used chemical weapons, saying the " escalating use of chemical weapons threatens the national security of the United States," and that of its allies.
Rice said failing to respond on the part of the United States increases the risk of violence and instability in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as raising questions around the world as to "whether the United States is truly prepared to employ the full range of its power to defend our national interests."
Addressing concerns of the U.S. public on military intervention, Rice said the actions proposed by Obama will be "limited strikes to deter the Syrian regime from using chemical weapons and to degrade their ability to do so again."
"This would not be the United States launching another war. As the President has said, repeatedly, this will not be Iraq or Afghanistan," said Rice.
Rice said the U.S. side has been actively courting international support for the action, and will continue to pursue "our broader Syria strategy" after the military strikes, which the strikes "would complement and reinforce."
"Our overarching goal is to end the underlying conflict through a negotiated, political transition in which Assad leaves power," said Rice. "The best way to achieve this is to keep the country and its institutions intact, but all parties have to be willing to negotiate."
Rice also said the U.S. supports the creation of a representative transitional authority that organizes elections, and intends to "renew our push for the UN-sponsored Geneva process following any limited strikes."