Syria: In Need of Vision

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Virginia Tech

Possessing a vision to correct problems is an area of interest for leadership and political studies, as presumably vision provides the goal to orient upon and overcome problems, and should apply at all levels of leadership. The worsening situation in Syria since the end of the Cold War begs the questions of whether any recent U.S. President tried to address the issues in the relationship with Syria, and what was the vision the President sought to achieve. This study reviews Presidential rhetoric from President's News Conferences, major speeches and Executive Orders for a vision to ascertain the intended direction for U.S. policy for Syria. Also, the study reviews the leadership styles of the five Presidents for consistency and effectiveness in conveying a foreign policy message. Broadly, the study concludes that the Presidents need more than a strategy to engage other nation to fix problems. They need an achievable outcome to aim the U.S. government towards and to effectively broadcast their vision to a broad audience. It takes an appreciation for history, realistic expectations and an eye for the future to form a vision for a coherent way forward. Unfortunately, the Presidents in this study did not give the appropriate time or resources to correct the pervasive problems in Syria. Their overall policies ranged from incoherent to stagnant, therefore hampering the U.S. ability to guide progress fixing the situation.

Syria, Presidential Leadership, Presidential Vision, Vision in Foreign Policy, American Foreign Policy