Russian officials have formally presented their proposal for the disarmament of Syria’s chemical arsenal, setting the stage for talks on Thursday between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva.
The plan seeks to be a counter to the French resolution presented yesterday to the United Nations Security Council, which included an authorization to attack Syria if it fails to meet the timetable dictated. Russia has rejected the plan, noting that the disarmament process is going to be a long, complicated one.
Obama Administration officials say that agreeing on a process for the disarmament will itself take considerable time and effort, and are trying to overtly make clear that if it fails, no matter how it fails, it will be Russia’s fault somehow.
Hawkish members of Congress are also expected to be an obstacle to any deal with Russia, as Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) and others are loudly rejecting the idea of doing something instead of lobbing missiles at Syria. The reality, however, is that they don’t have the votes to start a war, and instead are going to have to try to play spoiler of the peace.