By Alex Lancial
The United States and Russia, amidst much controversy about the issue of chemical weapons use in Syria, came to an agreement that states the best course of action is to ensure the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.
This came after weeks of debate in Congress, the U.N. and the public about whether or not the U.S. should intervene in Syria. In my opinion, this could only be possible because of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leadership style.
Putin had the same opinion, against military intervention, when the U.S. invaded Iran in 2003. Now, a decade later, the president is still standing firm with Syria.
It is Putin’s leadership style of non-military intervention that has forced this agreement. The public has been wary to support military intervention in light of the ambiguity of the reasoning behind U.S. intervention in Iraq. Putin, however, has always opposed that move in 2003.
It seems to me that Putin’s opposition has been the deciding factor in this agreement to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. Furthermore, in an article by Fox News, top congressional Democrats and Republicans agree that Putin is now calling the shots.
Furthermore, according to that same article by Fox News, Obama said, “I think there’s a way for Mr. Putin, despite me and him having a whole lot of differences, to play an important role. So I welcome him being involved. I welcome him saying, ‘I will take responsibility for pushing my client, the Assad regime, to deal with these chemical weapons.’ ”
What so many people are wondering now, with Russia taking the lead on Syria, is if the U.S. will be involved in this extraction of chemical weapons. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, especially if the Assad regime does not comply, but my guess is that Russia will hold to its leadership style and continue to oppose military intervention by the U.S.