U.S. to Remove Assad but Keep His Military in Place?
There seems to be a lack of clarity in the foreign policy apparatus of the Obama administration. As a result, the U.S. is officially funding the Syrian opposition via the Free Syrian Army, expecting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to either vacate the office of the presidency or be removed, yet also hoping the Syrian military remains in place.
That's right. Even though Assad is "on his way out," as Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan recently put it, the U.S. wants the military he commands to remain on site.
According to U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, "It's important when Assad leaves... to try to preserve stability in that country." Panetta claims keeping the Syrian military in place will prevent Syria from becoming another Iraq.
But the question is, how can stability come by keeping in place the military which has warred against the Free Syrian Army?