Critics of the agreement reached on the inspection of the weapons sites and destruction of the arsenal say it is a win for Assad and for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who brokered the deal reached Saturday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, following three days of talks in Geneva. But it is a defeat for the United States, they say.
"I do think Putin's playing chess and we're playing tick-tack-toe," Rep. Mike Rogers (shown in photo), the Alabama Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN's State of the Union Sunday. "Think about where he is and what he wanted out of Syria. He got everything he wanted, including taking away the president's advantage of a guaranteed or at least a credible military strike."
Also speaking on CNN Sunday, former speaker of the house and 2012 Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich warned of what he called a dramatic increase of Russian influence in the Middle East. "We're relying on the Russians," Gingrich said. "We're now following from behind, not leading from behind. This is not a good long-term position."
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton lost no time in denouncing the accord, telling Fox News on Saturday that the agreement "will die a death by a thousand cuts." Assad is required to make his initial declaration on the weapons and their location on Friday, September 20, Bolton noted, predicting: "It'll slip a few days, or maybe a few more. Maybe the first declaration won't be full and complete, and it'll have to be amended. And, then, it'll have to be amended again. You can see the impact of this as time goes on, and I think that's exactly what the strategy is."
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