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Country Risk

As US debates action on Syria, DoD reconstruction inspector reflects on lessons from Iraq

29 August 2013

With US leaders contemplating military action against Syria following an alleged chemical weapon attack by the government against civilians there, the Pentagon official who has been studying the reconstruction of Iraq since 2004 has recommended that any action against the regime be multilateral and warned that action resulting in the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would come with a heavy price for the United States.

"Should Assad fall, the needs are going to be immediate and substantial," Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction (SIGIR) since 2004, said on 29 August. Furthermore, "like it or not, we're going to have to play a significant role" in any post-conflict scenario in Syria, he added during a Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington on 29 August.



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