Senator pushes Robert Ford as ambassador to Syria

In an op-ed published on Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., reversed his previous opposition to appointing a U.S. ambassador to Syria and urged the Senate to confirm Robert Ford, President Obama's nominee for the post.

Ford has spent the past year acting as liaison to Syria. Because of Senate opposition to sending the first ambassador to the country in nearly five years, Obama made Ford a recess appointment in late 2010. Now that the administration has renominated Ford, Lieberman stands in full support of the nomination because of Ford's work to build ties with the Syrian people revolting against President Bashar al-Assad.

"Rather than being an envoy to Assad, Mr. Ford is now first and foremost our ambassador to the Syrian people and a bridge to the democratic transition they demand," Lieberman wrote. "This is a role for which Mr. Ford-an innovative and tough diplomat with extensive experience in the Middle East-is uniquely well-suited."

Lieberman asked the administration to take other steps as well to weaken Assad and drive him from power, including directly calling on the Syrian president to leave. The administration has criticized Assad's use of violence against his people, but has stopped short of calling for him to step down from power as it did with leaders in Egypt and Libya.

Lieberman also urged the administration to work with Syria's neighbors and business partners to both isolate the violent regime and ensure humanitarian aid is reaching the people.

"Now the protesters who are under renewed assault need to know that the full moral and diplomatic weight of the U.S. is behind them, and that we are doing everything we can to mobilize the world to their side," Lieberman wrote.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.