The diplomatic route

The deal that the U.S. and Russia reached about Syria’s chemical weapons is an acceptable diplomatic way out of this crisis. Let’s see if it yields results and its ambitious schedule is met.

The UN’s participation in the Syrian disarmament process, set forth in the agreement, gives more credibility to the U.S. demand that Bashar al-Assad’s regime gets rid of its chemical weapons. At the same time, it pressures Russia by committing President Vladimir Putin to this process.

Some see this deal as damaging for President Obama’s image because he seems hesitant and for the U.S. presence because of repeated and unfulfilled threats of military action. Iran, which has its own history with weapons of mass destruction, is carefully watching the developments.

In reality, we believe that Obama has wisely shown the patience necessary to avoid making rushed decisions. After all, with its strategy, the White House achieved a disarmament process that at first was unthinkable. In any case, the military option on Syria should remain open so that it acts as an incentive to fulfill the agreement.

It is too soon to know whether the deal will be successful or just a delaying tactic. The ways to measure it are having ongoing negotiations and deadlines that are met.

What is certain is that the character of a world power like the United States is not only measured by always fulfilling its military threats, but also by having the ability to combine them with diplomacy to obtain the wished-for effects.