Tennessee Senator Bob Corker wrote in New York Times opinion piece today that the US should arm moderate forces in the Syrian opposition The comments are a major pivot for the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Corker’s views on Syria have evolved dramatically over the last year. Early in 2012, he said too much remained unknown about the rebels, so the US shouldn’t provide anything beyond humanitarian aid. After visiting with opposition leaders in Turkey in September, Corker seemed more open to military assistance…but only as a last resort.
Now, in his New York Times piece, Corker says the US should go all in and train rebel units that are ‘vetted’ not to contain Islamic militants.
At the same time, Corker says the Obama Administration should make ‘a down payment on Syria’s future’ by helping to build international consensus on what the country’s government will look like after President Bashar al-Assad falls.
But the White House is still reluctant to get involved in Syria, though President Obama said this week that could change if Assad is using chemical weapons.