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Brzezinski: Syria strategy is "a well-kept secret"

In a DW interview, former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski denounces what appears to be imminent military action against the Assad regime and says the Obama administration lacks a strategy for the region.

Asked whether he supported military action in the light of the suspected large-scale chemical weapons attack against civilians, Zbigniew Brzezinski told Deutsche Welle:

"My view is that that action, if it is to be taken, should be part of some broader strategy. Otherwise it may be an appropriative punitive response, but would it solve the problem? Is there a strategy for the solution of the problem? And who is part of that strategy and who is not? Those are the questions which I think people have to think about seriously before plunging into a military action which - while perhaps morally justified in view of the nature of the offense involved, namely the anti-human acts - still will have consequences that may not be all that desirable. If the Obama administration has a strategy, it's a very well-kept secret."

Suggesting an alternative course of action, Brzezinski said:

"It seems to me that the problem in the Syrian case is part of a larger dilemma regarding the upheaval in the Middle East. The solution to that upheaval cannot be based entirely on military power nor should it be dependent almost exclusively on the Western powers. I am struck how eager Great Britain and France appear to be in favor of military action. And I am also mindful of the fact that both of these two powers are former imperialist, colonialist powers in that region. Given the contemporary reality of what I have called in my writings 'Global Political Awakening,' a policy of force based primarily on Western and in some cases former colonial powers does not seem to me a very promising avenue to an eventual solution to the regional problem."

Outlining the need for a broader coalition that should be part of any military action, Brzezinski told DW:

"I should think at the very minimum Turkey ought to be openly and directly involved if it takes place. And I think there should be some expression of approval for it and support for it from other powers that are very much dependent on some degree of minimal stability in the Middle East for their own economic well-being. In other words, I have in mind some of the Asian powers that depend so much on energy flowing stably from a Middle East which is not entirely set aflame."

Zbigniew Brzezinski served as National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981 and is regarded as one of the preeminent US foreign policy scholars. He is currently professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University and a counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

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Christoph Jumpelt

Christoph Jumpelt

Head of Corporate Communications and Spokesperson

T. +49.228.429-2041
christoph.jumpelt@dw.com

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