A top advisor to several U.S. presidents says the crisis in Syria is particularly difficult because it is uncertain whether the conflict would end if President Bashar al-Assad steps down or is forced out.
Brent Scowcroft views the two-year Syrian uprising as much more complex than the Arab Spring uprising in Libya.
"In Libya, you could see the alternatives if you throw out [Moammar] Ghadafi," Scowcroft said in an interview with VOA. "[In] Syria, the alternatives are not so clear."
President Barack Obama has announced $155 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people. The conflict has taken at least 60,000 lives with no end to the violence in sight.
On Iran, Scowcroft believes the United States must work closely with its Turkish partners to, in his words, "deal" with Iran and make it a "solid member of the region" instead of the "danger that it is now."
"The security situation is very complex," Scowcroft said. "But the way for Iran to solve these problems is not to develop a nuclear weapon. That makes things worse for the whole region."
Scowcroft served as national security advisor to U.S. presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. He was chairman of President George W. Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and a military assistant to President Richard Nixon.