US officials want a quick signal from the Russians that Syria is really willing to give up its chemical weapons. But there's a chance everyone's just kicking the can down the road.
That is, how much time is the Obama administration willing to give the Russian-led effort to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons before the US starts rattling the sabers again?
Mr. Obama didn’t mention a timeline or benchmarks for diplomatic success in his speech Tuesday. The next day, White House spokesman Jay Carney also kept it vague when asked over and over about a timeline.
“I expect that this will take some time,” Mr. Carney said of the Russian initiative, later acknowledging that he was stating the obvious. “But we also are not interested in delaying tactics. And we believe it's very important to hold [Syrian President Bashar] Assad accountable."
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