“It seems to me that the problem in the Syrian case is part of a larger dilemma regarding the upheaval in the Middle East. The solution to that upheaval cannot be based entirely on military power nor should it be dependent almost exclusively on the Western powers,” Brzezinski told in an interview with DW.
“I am struck how eager Great Britain and France appear to be in favor of military action. And I am also mindful of the fact that both of these two powers are former imperialist, colonialist powers in that region,” said Zbigniew, who served as National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981 and is regarded as one of the preeminent US foreign policy scholars.
“I think the Obama administration would like to have UN sanction [of a military mission - Ed.], but is concerned that such an effort would be vetoed by the Russians, conceivably even by the Chinese. That to me suggests that a great deal of serious discussions ought to be undertaken with countries that one way or another feel that they might be affected by the consequences of rapidly escalating violence in the region as a whole.”
“The problem in a nutshell is that the issue is larger than Syria and it cannot be approached as a purely Syrian problem. And secondly that retaliatory action for a morally serious transgression such as the chemical attack has to be nonetheless still part of a larger design with strategic objectives in mind and not merely punitive.”
Brzezinski also challenged the Obama administration for ordering a military action against Syria, saying “I do not see the larger strategic context for it. And I am concerned that its participants are too narrowly based, that is, it is America and former colonial powers. That seems to me to create a political problem immediately.”
Brzezinski is currently professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins University and a counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.