The Trustees of the BALTIMORE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS Cordially Invite You to an Address by
THE HONORABLE ROBERT FORD
FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR
TO SYRIA, 2010-2014
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Reception: 5:15 p.m. Address: 6:00 p.m
The Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
202 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Members: Free of Charge – Guest of a Member: $20.00* Non-Members: 25.00*
“The Conflict in Syria and
What It Means for the Middle East”
The struggle for power in Syria has painfully led to 100,000 dead and many, many more displaced refugees with permanently disrupted lives; and the end is barely in sight. Rebel forces are disjointed and unable to effectively unite; and they include Islamist entities feared by most American viewers. Mr. Putin’s Russia has adroitly seized the opportunity to curtail the United States military threat and moved toward retaining its geopolitical link to Syria and probably has successfully retained in power its close ally President Assad. American attempts to coordinate rebel forces, arrange a settlement of the conflict and remove Assad via the Geneva peace talks are not proving successful. On display is Vladimir Putin’s theory of foreign policy, the stubborn brutishness of the Syrian dictator, the region’s diversity illuminated by a violent struggle for power, and the conduct of American policy in an awkward and testing circumstance.
Ambassador Ford has been described as the United States’ “point man” at Geneva. He was visibly a strong supporter of the rebels’ cause going back to early in their struggle; he has labored to unite the opposition; and he has tried to work with the Russians and all those invited to the Geneva negotiations. He has lived this piece of American foreign policy. He knows its complicated variables and extraordinary challenges. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with him.
Robert Ford’s undergraduate degree is from Johns Hopkins and his Master’s degree is from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He served in the State Department for twenty-nine years until his recent retirement. In the last decade, he has served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrain, Political Counselor and Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq, and Ambassador to Algeria before his enormously difficult ambassadorship to Syria.