As Obama prepares for U.N. speech, experts say his stance toward group fits U.S. pattern
UNITED NATIONS — As President Obama weighed his options last month in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, he made clear that he was prepared to bypass the United Nations on the way to war.
Obama, who will arrive in New York on Monday and address the General Assembly on Tuesday, is expected to argue that Syria has only a limited opportunity to abide by its agreement to turn over its chemical weapons. The U.N. Security Council is key to that process, and U.S. officials hope that it will quickly pass a resolution to legally bind Syria to its commitments.
“President Obama is acting in a way that is typical of U.S. presidents,” said Edward Luck, the dean of the School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. “I think it has been the norm for the United States to look for other options, and if other options don’t work, then they go back to the United Nations.”
"The threat of military action to enforce compliance is critical,” said Amy E. Smithson, an expert on biological and chemical weapons at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. “Otherwise, Assad will continue to play right out of Saddam Hussein’s playbook of hindering the inspectors to try to hide weapons and resources to resurrect his program.”