March 29 2013
Syria is looking more like a collapsed state every day. Spillover is destabilizing Lebanon, putting pressure on Jordan, an important regional partner, and imposing a major strain on Turkey, a NATO ally. The influx of Sunnis, some of whom are extremists, into Iraq from Syria is putting Iraq's tenuous stability at risk and pushing the Maliki government closer to Iran. Nearly a million people have now fled Syria for safety abroad. Meanwhile, the influence of extremist groups, such as the al Nusrah Front, continues to grow as these groups slip into the areas vacated by the Syrian state.
Then there is the question of Syria's chemical weapons. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper recently expressed his concern to Congress that the Assad regime, “having found its escalation of violence through conventional means inadequate, might be prepared to use the chemical weapons against the Syrian people.”