Regarding the Dec. 28 news story “U.N., Russia back political solution to Syrian conflict”:

As the endgame of the Syrian crisis approaches, it is necessary for the United States and the international community to act to ensure that what takes the place of the Assad regime are not further killings and revenge acts between the ethnic groups. We need not only a responsible, broad-based, transitional government established but an assurance that a robust and disinterested peacemaking force will be in place. I am glad that the United Nations is trying to establish such a force.

One key function that an armed peacekeeping and monitoring international force can perform is the safeguarding and destruction of the stockpile of chemical and biological weapons. The force should also dispose of the remaining Scuds in Syria.

Other key elements of ensuring stability in a future Syria are a major effort to rebuild the devastated society and the early employment of young people, thus providing hope in place of despair and anger. Here the United States and international bodies such as the European Union and Arab League can and should contribute major resources.

Harry C. Blaney III, Bethesda

The writer is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy.