U.S. policy toward Syria should…
1. Prioritize an immediate ceasefire.
There are already small examples of local ceasefires, worked out in communities where members of the opposition forces and the government army were acquainted with one another. The United States should put its full diplomatic support toward a national-level ceasefire, effective immediately.
2. Cease military and all other support for armed parties to the conflict.
The U.S. should end its military support for the Syrian opposition and direct all of its energies toward a political solution. The U.S. should insist that its allies, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, end their military involvement as well.
3. Actively pursue a negotiated, political agreement.
A process leading to a negotiated agreement will need to be led by Syrians, with strong support from the U.S. and others in the international community. Any durable agreement must guarantee the rights of all Syrians.
4. Respond generously to the humanitarian crisis.
The U.S. has provided $1.7 billion in humanitarian assistance thus far, but the need continues to increase. U.S. assistance should: be directed to agencies operating in accordance with international humanitarian law, provide support for host communities and governments, and reach the needs of less visible refugee populations.