National Security Brief: U.S., Russia Announce Conference On Syria

The United States and Russia announced on Tuesday that they will try to convene an international conference in the coming weeks aimed at ending the civil war in Syria.

The New York Times reports that Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov agreed to the conference “day of intense diplomatic meetings” in Moscow.

The Times notes that it’s unclear how either Russia or the U.S. will persuade all parties in Syria’s civil war to lay down their arms, but adds that the joint project is “unusual” for the two nations, given their “sometimes rancorous relationship.”

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Pentagon is drawing up plans to deal with any potential regional spillover of the conflict, “drawing up proposals including a Jordanian buffer zone for refugees secured by Arab troops.”


And, “the defected Syrian general whom the United States has tapped as its conduit for aid to the rebels has acknowledged in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers that his movement was badly fragmented and lacked the military skill needed to topple President Bashar al-Assad.”

In other news:

  • Politico reported on Tuesday that “Top senators in both parties have begun talks to revise the congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to lawmakers and aides involved in the discussions.”