The White House’s desire to find a face-saving way out of this disaster of their own making is understandable. This administration has been pushed into enforcing the global prohibition on chemical weapon use in Syria from the very beginning and they have no desire to follow through with the threat of military force.
This White House, consumed with politics, has no taste for convincing the American people to pursue an unpopular but necessary policy when it is not associated with major domestic reforms. For this president, foreign policy has always been an afterthought.
But the so-called Russian solution is no solution at all. It is a poison chalice that will merely postpone a crisis and make the ultimate reckoning that much more politically dangerous for the White House.
Most obviously, the simple fact is that it is impossible to secure and account for all of Syria’s chemical weapons. Even in a cooperative country not torn apart by years of civil war, the intrusive inspections regime that would be required to enforce such a solution would be difficult to effectively administer. That presumes, however, preventing the future use of chemical weapons – the administration’s stated objective – is still of any concern for this White House.