Biden Dismisses State Dept Syria Memo, as Kerry Meets With Authors

Obama Said Annoyed by 'Washington Playbook' Dissent Memo

by Jason Ditz, June 21, 2016

In some of the most public comments from a top administration official on last week’s State Department “dissent memo” calling for a change in the Syria War, Vice President Joe Biden was extremely dismissive, saying the diplomats have a right to complain, but that they didn’t offer any recommendations on how to do what they are proposing.

The memo called for a shift of the US war in Syria away from fighting ISIS and toward a “more muscular military position” on imposing regime change in Syria, but as Biden points out, it did not offer specifics on how that shift would be accomplished, rather focusing on how great they thought it would be if the US completed such a shift.

Secretary of State John Kerry, the architect of the failed effort to get the US to impose regime change in Syria in 2013, has praised the memo, and today met with its authors, who have so far not bee identified. Though the State Department has said Kerry hasn’t committed to a “full-throated endorsement” of the plan, he was very impressed with the notion.

The White House insists President Obama “won’t read” the memo at all, but the indications are that he was annoyed by the “Washington playbook” tendency to believe that more US military firepower could be the solution to any foreign policy problem.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz