Maj. Gen. Scales: Syria Using 'Insincere Dialogue' to 'Run Out the Clock'

Image: Maj. Gen. Scales: Syria Using 'Insincere Dialogue' to 'Run Out the Clock'

Monday, 17 Feb 2014 11:03 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Syria's President Bashar Assad was using "insincere dialogue" in an attempt to "run out the clock" in peace talks over the country's civil war conflict, retired Maj. Gen. Bob Scales said Monday.

"This is a page out of the insurgent handbook on dealing with Americans. Insincere dialogue always is a means to run out the clock," Scales, a Fox News analyst, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."

Talks broke down in Switzerland between Syrian officials and insurgent groups fighting in the country's civil war. The second attempt at negotiating a settlement to the Syrian conflict failed after less than a half hour, with the parties only agreeing to meet again.

After the talks failed, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Assad was "continuing to try to win this in the battlefield, rather than to come to the negotiating table in good faith."

Scales predicted the peace talks would produce nothing "to help the insurgents." He said the talks were an opportunity for Assad to "restock, rearm, and prepare for the next round of a war."

While President Barack Obama believed "talking is better than shooting," Scales said the philosophy sounded good, but indicated "insincere enemies will use talk, not only as a way to stretch out the campaign, but also to escalate the campaign." He cited recent deaths in Syrian cities Aleppo and Homs.

"Isn't it interesting that most of the deaths that are occurring in Aleppo and Homs from these barrel bombs are occurring while the talks are going on, not while the fighting is going on?" he asked.

The end of Syria's civil war would "burn itself out like all civil wars do," Scales said.
"One side will end in exhaustion, and the other side will end triumphantly," he said. "It looks as if Assad has got this one in the can."

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