The United States (US) Republican Senator John Mc Cain has criticized the deal struck by the US andRussia regarding the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile by saying "I wish I could see the recent agreement between Russia and the United States to rid the Assad regime of its chemical weapons as major breakthrough. Unfortunately, I cannot." Speaking to a think tank in US, Mc Cain evaluated the deal between US andRussia on Syria. McCain, emphasizing that no one trusted Assad's sincerity, said, "Nor am I seeking to score political points. In fact, I have sought to work with President Obama on Syria at every turn, and to encourage his development of a broader strategy for this growing problem. I have met with him several times recently for exactly that purpose, and I’m grateful for that opportunity." McCain, saying that he supported the President’s call to use force against the Assad regime for its massacre of nearly 1,500 Syrians with chemical weapons on August 21 and worked with his colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to pass, on a bipartisan basis, the authority to use force that the President sought, added,
"There was little reason to have more faith in Russia, especially when President Putin himself still insists that the Syrian opposition was responsible for the August 21 attack".
"Under these circumstances, what leverage do we have to force Assad’s compliance when he starts to lie, and cheat, and delay, using every trick in Saddam Hussein’s playbook? Not much, it appears. And the leverage we do have no longer appears credible. To insist otherwise misses the basic reality of this agreement: It was not a product of the Administration’s strength, but of its weakness – of its inability or unwillingness to take the military action it deemed necessary against Assad. Russia sensed this weakness and led the Administration into a diplomatic blind alley."
McCain, claiming that the Assad regime would likely avoid any meaningful punishment for its use – not just possession, but use – of weapons of mass destruction, said "This is why many of us are concerned that both our friends and enemies will see this agreement as an act of provocative weakness – a blow to America’s credibility that will lead others to question whether we are willing and able to enforce our own stated commitments, even after the gravest transgressions."
"I cannot imagine a worse message to send to the rulers of Iran, or the young leader in North Korea, or every other bad actor that is looking for an excuse to test the limits of American resolve" McCain said.
- "We need a strategy to end this war"
McCain, saying that the world could not afford to look at Syria as a chemical weapons arsenal attached to a country, noted "We need a strategy to end this war as soon as possible, because the longer it goes the worse it gets."
Pointing out that no one wanted to be involved in Syria, McCain said "But the reality is, we are involved. We are more involved today than one year ago. We were more involved one year ago than two years ago. And we will almost certainly be more involved next year than we are now – only then, the conflict will be worse, and we will have worse and fewer options to address it."