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Frederic C. Hof

Frederic C. Hof is a senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council and the former Special Advisor for Transition in Syria at the US Department of State.

INSIGHT: Syria – Talk to Assad?

Commenting recently to The New York Times, Ryan Crocker (the former United States ambassador to Syria and several other places) suggested, “We need to start talking to the Assad regime again… It will have to be done very, very quietly. But bad as Assad is, he is not as bad as the jihadis who More »

INSIGHT: Syria – Keeping Hope for Peace Alive

There can be no prospect for a negotiated end to the Syrian nightmare so long as Syrian civilians are targeted by Bashar al-Assad’s regime for terror, death, injury, and flight. If His Holiness the Pope, the secretary-general of the United Nations, the president of Russia, and members of Congress think otherwise, they should specify how More »

INSIGHT: Kerry’s Opening to the Free Syrian Army

Last week in Rome Secretary of State John Kerry turned a page in U.S. policy on Syria by announcing food and medical assistance to elements of Syria’s armed opposition. While critics of administration policy bemoaned the absence of night vision goggles and body armor from the inventory of non-lethal assistance to be provided, Kerry’s More »

INSIGHT: Syria 2013 – Will the Poison Pill of Sectarianism Work?

At the dawn of the New Year President Bashar al-Assad and his regime remain committed to pursuing a corrosively destructive sectarian survival strategy, one enjoying a critical assist from an increasingly radicalized and politically directionless armed opposition.  Left to their own devices – as both the West and Russia seemed inclined to leave them – More »

INSIGHT: Syria – Seven Key Points

The situation in Syria has reached a critical stage. While a diplomatic, managed transition from the Assad regime to an opposition-led consensus national unity government would be ideal, the likelihood of it happening is very low. The situation is enormously complicated and fraught with peril. But seven points must be kept in mind. 1. Time More »