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Global Insights: Even in Best Case, Kerry’s Syria Initiative Faces Challenges

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013

Until today, last week’s G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, looked to be a bust. Although the group, whose members represent 90 percent of the world’s economy, is not supposed to have a traditional military security agenda, the impending U.S. military strike against Syria ensured that the Syrian issue would dominate deliberations. Despite efforts by U.S. President Barack Obama to convince the other leaders in attendance of the need to respond to the Syrian government’s Aug. 21 use of chemical weapons with military force, the group remained sharply divided on the issue.

China and Russia but also Brazil, India and Indonesia refused to sign a statement that even hinted at some kind of concrete response to the attack. Even U.S. allies like Germany preferred to wait for the conclusions of a U.N. inspections team before lining up behind U.S. calls for a punitive military response. ...

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