What Should the World Do About Syria?

When Obama drew his now infamous “red line” in August of 2012, the world closely observed. Chemical weapons and barrel bombs strangled the streets of Damascus and Aleppo while the intervention-cautious Obama administration furiously calculated its next steps. Fast forward four years: Obama’s Syria strategy is viewed by many as his presidency’s greatest foreign policy blunder. Meanwhile, Aleppo burns, and the Islamic State rears its ugly head. More than one in ten Syrians have been wounded or killed since the beginning of the conflict. Tens of thousands arrested and detained. And more than 85 percent are living in poverty. Looking immediately and further forward, what is the world’s role in Syria? What must it do to halt the rising death toll and bring a sustainable peace?

Festival: Aspen Ideas 2016

Watch and Listen: World

Barack Obama came into office promising a new American foreign policy. Did he deliver? Did the president successfully... See more
Our signature event, the 2016 Afternoon of Conversation hosts an audience of more than 2,000 in the Benedict Music Tent... See more
What do today's Republicans believe America's role in the world should be? The GOP's presumptive nominee... See more
The United States can’t win the battle against terrorism abroad if it is vulnerable at home. In the era of ISIS,... See more
Secretary of State John Kerry at the Aspen Ideas Festival 2016 See more
In the 1930s, the Great Depression reversed a long trend towards globalization: Borders were shut, trade was halted,... See more

Pages