The short answer is yes [the plan] can work, although it doesn't mean it will. Russia holds the key.[The plan] will require pretty serious heavy lifting. It will require the Syrian government opening itself up, as far as its chemical arsenal is concerned, to the international community. It will require teams of inspectors to come to Syria and it would require that team to be supported by a peacekeeping force, a sizeable one.
It will require a ceasefire in the areas where the chemical weapons are stored, [and] an agreement between the Syrian government and the international community, whether the UN or the Organisation for Chemical Weapons, and thus an implicit recognition of the Assad regime as the government or authority in Syria.
It will require a serious re-launch of the political process in Syria.
So [it's] a very tall order. [But] working along that path is the best option that we have. Military strikes would be a very bad option for everyone involved, except maybe for the anti-Western extremist forces in Syria and the Middle East more broadly, [who] would thrive in the wake of US strikes in Syria.
We don't have a choice other than to get our act together and do what has been suggested and what has been, in general terms, approved by the international community.
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