Before Monday afternoon’s release of the United Nations report on Syria’s chemical weapons, I spoke with Monocle 24 — on The Globalist with Dr. Patricia Lewis of Chatham House and on The Briefing — about the US position amid developments since the August 21 attacks by the Assad regime.

Listen to The Globalist: Discussion from 8:21 on the homepage or in a pop-out window
Listen to The Briefing: Discussion from 12:58 on the homepage or in a pop-out window

Take-away points:

1. “The Framework Agreement with Russia is a huge setback for the United States, at least in international terms.”

2. “This chemical weapons deal, even if comes off in practice — which I doubt — does nothing to touch the main points of the Syrian conflict.”

3. “There’s an inadvertent benefit from the US backing off force in Syria, It may open up the possibility to talk to Iran and pursue engagement, even if that’s not what the Americans planned.”

4. “Obama and his Administration look incredibly weak.,,, It looks like the Americans have tried to wash their hands of the Syrian conflict after more than 2 1/2 years, and other countries are going to see this as America walking away.”

5. “Other countries — Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, and Iran — are arguably more influential over the Syrian crisis than Washington is proving to be.

“That in part is a measure of reality, that the US does not dictate what happens around the world, but in part it’s a measure of these decisions. Obama has walked away from responsibiity.”