Hillary Clinton may intervene more in Syria, but is she a hardened interventionist?

Aron Lund,
Carnegie Middle East Center.

With Donald Trump now mired in scandal, it is looking increasingly probable that Hillary Clinton will be the 45th president of the United States, a country that holds many of the keys to Syria’s political future.

So what would a Clinton presidency mean for Syria? On the one hand, it would guarantee a certain continuity in U.S. Syria policy, which Hillary Clinton was instrumental in shaping as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. But she has also spoken out against President Barack Obama’s reluctance to escalate against the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies.

The Clinton campaign website states that she would “conduct more intense and effective air strikes” and “provide additional support to Kurdish and Sunni rebel forces on the ground,” while creating “a coalition no-fly zone in the air coupled with safe zones on the ground.” These moves would not be directly aimed at toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but rather would seek to accomplish humanitarian goals while building “leverage and momentum for a diplomatic solution that removes Assad and brings Syria’s communities together” to fight the self-declared Islamic State. This is still Clinton’s official platform, as she confirmed in the presidential debate on October 9.

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