Home inFocus Can Syria Change? (Spring 2009) Letter From the Publisher: Can Syria Change?

Letter From the Publisher: Can Syria Change?

Matthew Brooks Spring 2009

As I write this letter, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry recently returned from a high-level visit to Syria. After meeting with Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad, Kerry reported back to Washington that Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism since 1979, is ready to come in from the cold. He professed a “possibility of real cooperation on a number of different issues beginning immediately.”

The JPC harbors serious doubts about the peaceful intentions of the Syrian regime. Indeed, even as President Barack Obama dispatched Kerry to Damascus, the Jerusalem Post reported that Syria had been “conducting extensive construction work on a chemical weapons facility in the country’s northwest.” The facility, known as al-Safir, holds many of “Syria’s long-range Scud-D ballistic missiles” and features “several dozen underground fortified bunkers where the launchers and the missiles are stored.”

This issue of inFOCUS features a series of articles that lays bare the rogue policies of Syria’s past, present, and future. Our lineup of contributors includes the best Syria specialists in the field. Featured writers include Professors Walid Phares, Raymond Tanter, and Eyal Zisser.

The JPC is also proud to publish in this issue a unique interview with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on the challenges of peacemaking with this long-time foe.

If you enjoy this issue of inFOCUS, please consider making a tax-deductible online donation to the JPC at jewishpolicycenter.org/contribute.php. Together, we can help guide U.S. foreign policy at this critical and dangerous time.