Andrew J. Tabler is the Martin J. Gross fellow in the Geduld Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute, where he focuses on Syria and U.S. policy in the Levant.
Articles & Testimony
Washington needs a special envoy to develop a coherent, intelligence-supported political strategy aimed at isolating Assad, limiting his facilitators, and enabling humanitarian NGOs.
In recent weeks, Washington’s Middle East watchers have been abuzz with talk of U.S. President Joe Biden’s ongoing Syria policy review. During its first months in office, the Biden administration’s approach to Damascus has been notably cautious; unlike his predecessors, Biden has yet to appoint a high-level Syria envoy or to sanction a single person or entity connected to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s authoritarian regime. But even though Biden would clearly prefer to pursue other foreign policy goals, Syria will increasingly demand his attention. Assad has grown comfortable with his country’s transformation into something akin to a North Korea on the Mediterranean...