By Mick Krever, CNN
Frederic Hof used to be the point man on the Syrian transition in the U.S. State Department; now, out of government, he could hardly be more critical of President Barack Obama’s policy toward that country.
“I believe that the president should have been prepared right at the outset,” Hof, the former U.S. State Department special adviser to the transition in Syria, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday. “I think he should have acted quickly. I think he should have authorized military strikes against the tools of terror: the artillery, the aircraft, the rockets, and the missiles.”
The potential for those strikes now is looking more and more remote, as a Russian proposal to have Syria turn over control of its chemical weapons gains traction among governments around the world, including the United States.
By Mick Krever, CNN
U.S. President Barack Obama would have 30 days to work out a “credible plan” on Syria’s chemical weapons before he would be allowed to use force under a new proposed House resolution, House Democrat Chris Van Hollen told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
The revision comes on the back of fast-moving developments over a Russian plan to have Syria turn over control of its chemical weapons to an international body, which Van Hollen called a “very positive development.”
“There is this opportunity to accomplish our goal,” the House Democrat said, which he described as preventing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons again.
“We all have an obligation to take this seriously,” Van Hollen told Amanpour. “But we also have an obligation to make sure that this is not a distraction.”
To that end, he said, a proposed House resolution would allow the president to use military action if after 30 days there were no agreement.
“I do think it’s important to have a backstop of a credible use of force,” Van Hollen said.
Front and center in these fast-moving developments on Syria is the U.S.’s relationship with Russia.
Just before news broke of Russia's proposal to have Syria turn over control of its chemical weapons, CNN's Christiane Amanpour spoke with America’s man in Moscow, Ambassador Michael McFaul.
Click above to see Amanpour's interview with Ambassador McFaul.