As Congress weighs action on Syria and the world waits for President Barack Obama’s decision on military intervention, another body has been standing by, so far with limited involvement.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) confirmed and condemned the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons. But the alliance has yet to outline any foreseeable role in the conflict beyond defending NATO member Turkey, which borders Syria and has endorsed President Obama’s calls for a military strike.
NATO leadership does believe it can facilitate action by other means, however.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen joins the program to discuss NATO’s potential for involvement in Syria, and the alliance’s role in the 21st century.
"There's a lot of public evidence," says Secretary General Rasmussen of a chemical attack in Syria. "It doesn't make sense for the opposition to attack their own people with chemical weapons in areas they already control, and the opposition doesn't have the capacity to conduct such an attack of that scope and scale."
Secretary General Rasmussen adds that based on the evidence he has seen there is no doubt that the Syrian regime carried out these attacks. When asked by The Takeaway if Bashar al-Assad was lying, the Secretary General said, "I think it's evident that the Syrian regime is responsible."
Rasmussen adds that inaction could be damaging not just to Syrians on the ground, but to the world at large.
"If the horrendous chemical attacks remain unanswered, it might send a very dangerous signal to not only the regime in Damascus, but to dictators all over the world, that chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction can be used without any consequences," the Secretary General said.