SU National Security Studies Director weighs in on Syria

Local News

The Director of Syracuse University’s National Security Studies Department at the Maxwell School is calling the chemical attack in Syria ugly, awful, tragic and unlawful.

While at the State Department in 2001 as Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Bill Smullen and his boss met Syrian President Assad and were left disappointed he didn’t follow through with any of his promised actions.

But he says before placing blame for this week’s chemical attack in Syria we need to know all the facts to know exactly who is at fault before taking action.

“If it was Syria that was responsible and that’s my best guess, there’s not much we can do about it because Assad will tell you one thing and will do something else.  I’ll never forget visiting President Assad in 2001 with Secretary Powell and he sat there and made nice talk for about 2 1/2, 3 hours and he didn’t live up to one of those promises he made.  He doesn’t live by the truth he lives by whatever is in his mind at the time.”  Smullen tells NewsChannel 9.

Smullen says increasing sanctions on Syria may be one option, though he says not overly effective against a leader like Assad.

The US military he says already has several people on the ground in Syria, including one of Smullen’s former interns now a Lieutenant in the US Army.

“Could we send more people, we could, are we going to, I don’t know if that’s the smartest thing or not because pockets of people can’t do what large volumes of people can do so a drip is not necessarily a solution.”  Smullen says.

The best option he says is for the International community, specifically the UN Security Council take very strong action against Syria.

“I think if we do it as an international body we’re going to be much more successful than if we try to do it alone.”  Smullen adding that without strong, decisive action we risk a similar attack happening again.

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