White House Insists Syria Policy ‘Clear’ and ‘Working’

Tries to Distance Themselves From Hagel Memo

White House officials are loudly trying to downplay the warnings about their failing Syrian policy made clear in a recent memo by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, saying that the policy is definitely working.

“The policy that we have for Assad is really clear: We believe that he’s lost the legitimacy to lead,” insisted White House spokesman Josh Earnest. Hagel’s memo warned that the White House insistence on being anti-Assad was being undercut by the war effort helping Assad.

The memo further warned that the US has no end game strategy for the conflict, something which didn’t seem to be seriously contested by the White House, which continues to talk up an extremely long war with no end in sight.

The Pentagon also downplayed the idea of disconnect, saying that the memo was simply part of the constant review of the ongoing conflict, and not reflective of a serious shift in policy.

Though officials are often downplaying their internal disagreements when they become a matter of public knowledge, the claims that the current strategy is “working” are particularly bizarre, as the situation is clearly worsening, and the US policy, ill-defined, is not achieving any of its stated goals.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.