Norway's newly elected prime minister Erna Solberg

commentary

(CNN)

Could Norway Be Key to a Future Syria Strike?

Norway's newly elected prime minister Erna Solberg

photo by Reuters/Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB Scanpix

by Christopher S. Chivvis

September 26, 2013

The White House has faced an increasingly uphill battle to gain domestic and international support for possible strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, yet there may be a glimmer of hope on the horizon in the land of Fjords.

Earlier this month, Norway, traditionally one of America's strongest NATO allies, elected a conservative new prime minister, Erna Solberg. Solberg comes to power as the Obama administration has struggled to win backing for strikes against the al-Assad regime in Syria — a struggle that has been complicated further by Syria's acceptance of a Russia-backed plan that is supposed to see it give up its chemical weapons.

But if Syrian acceptance turns out to be a stalling tactic — as many believe it is — support for strikes from allies like Norway will be all the more important to the White House....

The remainder of this commentary is available at cnn.com.


Christopher Chivvis is a senior political scientist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and author of the book, Toppling Qaddafi.

This commentary originally appeared on CNN on September 26, 2013. Commentary gives RAND researchers a platform to convey insights based on their professional expertise and often on their peer-reviewed research and analysis.