Zbigniew Brzezinski: photo - prezydent.pl
Polish-born Brzezinski, who served under President Jimmy Carter from 1977-1981, made the remarks during a televised interview with CNN.
“I see our involvement in the Syrian affair as something very unfortunate, unnecessary,” Brzezinski said.
“I don't think an attack on Syria to strike at its chemical assets would be very productive for us,” he stressed.
“It would not solve the problem. It might ignite a wider regional explosion.”
He also reflected that Russia's proposal that Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons be put under international control may get the US out of an awkward situation.
“We are prevented from doing something which would be equally damaging to the region, but worse probably for us, namely some pointless military strike which merely dramatizes American involvement in the war,” he said.
“Our actions were misconceived, badly calculated and I think this gets us off the hook. We can't use force anymore overtly unless Assad is stupid enough to use chemical weapons again, which I doubt,” he argued.
On Moscow's motives, Brzezinski reflected that “the Russians were concerned.... that the region might explode.
“And this will affect also Russia's position, particularly in the Caucuses where there is Islamic resentment against Russian domination that's gaining momentum and is becoming more violent.”
He likewise reasoned that Moscow saw the deal as “an opportunity to diminish America's standing as the pre-eminent power in the region.”
Syria has pledged that it will cooperate in the handover of its chemical weapons arsenal. Work is under way on a UN Security Council resolution that would timetable the process, with international inspectors set to be on the ground in Syria no later than November, following the submission of comprehensive chemical weapons survey by Syrian authorities.
Meanwhile, the civil war continues. An estimated 100,000 have died since the conflict began in March 2011. (nh)