The Obama administration’s handling of the situation in Syria “one of the sad stories of the president’s foreign policy,” according to former secretary of defense Robert Gates.
“I think last fall was a real low point where we went in the space of a week from saying ‘Assad must go’ to ‘Assad must stay’ in order to fulfill the agreement sponsored by Putin to get rid of the chemical weapons that Assad had used against his own people,” he said on Face the Nation. “If ‘winning’ means remaining as president of Syria, I think [Assad] is winning.”
Gates said there may have been an opportunity for the United States and others to oust Assad early in the conflict, but he now sees it as too difficult to really change the situation in the country.
“I think we may have to” live with what’s happening in Syria, he said. “I certainly don’t see a diplomatic solution.”