In the years ahead, we will need all the wisdom and perspective that we can possibly gather. But I am absolutely confident that our nation has what it takes to continue leading the world no matter what comes our way. And with your help, and the help of so many others around our country and likeminded people around the world, America will remain the greatest force for peace and progress the world has ever known. And the world will understand and work with us to move toward the kind of future that we all deserve.
Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you.
MODERATOR: Okay. So Secretary Clinton has graciously offered to take a little time and answer a couple of questions.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Exactly.
MODERATOR: We've got 10 minutes, so I'm going to have to forgo the Ellen impersonation; there'll be no dancing. That should be a relief to everyone. But I'm going to use my host prerogative here and I'm going to offer the first question to my partner here, Susan, and we really only have about 10 minutes.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we can stretch it a little bit. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Excellent. Very good, because actually I was not going to waste if it was one and only question on the question that probably everybody here wants to ask, so I'm just channeling them. We heard you talking about how 50 percent of the population has been denied a chance to participate, and I actually thought for a moment that you were going to tell us all whether it's finally time for a man to become Secretary of State. (Laughter.)
Now I didn't want to waste my one question on that though, so you can tell us of course. We'd be happy to know. But I did want to grab out from your inbox, from the headlines as well as the trend lines, one of the stories that we're all looking at today, and to ask us - to ask you to give us your assessment about whether you believe events in Syria are finally moving toward a tipping point. And regardless of that, there are reports that the United States is considering some moves that we have not yet taken in the course of this bloody crisis, including possibly recognizing the new Syrian opposition as the official representatives, and potentially considering even arms or something more significant to move forward.
First of all, are those reports accurate? And again, can you just give us your assessment about where things are in a civil war that is 18 months and counting? Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Susan, I think that the short answer is that it appears as though the opposition in Syria is now capable of holding ground and that they are better equipped and more able to bring the fight to the government forces. And so we follow closely where the government still maintains regime control and where it's contested and where the opposition is making significant inroads. I don't know that you can say that for the entire country it is yet at a tipping point, but it certainly seems that the regime will be much harder pressed in the next months.
Now having said that, they still are receiving considerable assistance from Iran, from Hezbollah, and we follow what other countries are trying to do for them as well to keep the regime operating. And for a long time, the Syrian opposition was not able to present anything resembling a unified, coherent vision for what a future post-Assad Syria could look like. As you know, there was a lot of work done to help support the Syrians coming up with a new opposition. They are currently meeting in Cairo as we speak. We have been deeply involved in helping to stand them up, and we're going to carefully consider what more we can do. I will be having much more to say about that as we move toward the Friends of the Syrian People meeting in Morocco the second week of December.
No other decisions have been made yet, but we consider them on an almost daily basis. The United States has provided more than $200 million in humanitarian assistance. Syrian people who have been displaced are facing difficult conditions, given the winter that's upon them. This is - this remains a very difficult situation to manage because there are so many interests by all of the players, many of which are contradictory.
So Turkey, for example, is very much at the leadership level committed to seeing the end of the Syrian regime, but incredibly worried that nothing be done that empowers the Kurds, particularly the PKK affiliates. Jordan is working hard to maintain stability inside its own country. They are obviously worried about upsetting the delicate demographic balance inside. Lebanon has tried very hard to stay out of it because of their own internal conflicts and the role that Hezbollah plays and the opportunity for Sunni extremists to take up safe havens inside Lebanon, to be able to go back and forth across the border. The Golan Heights has been threatened by Syrian action.
So, I mean, if this were a straightforward challenge, I think we would all have reached a conclusion and have unified behind exactly what we are going to do and how to do it. But indeed, it is and remains extremely complex. So we are doing what we can to support the opposition, but also to try to support those inside Syria, particularly in the local councils who are committed to the kind of continuity in the Syrian governmental institutions so we don't see a collapse and a disbandment of institutional forces that we know from our Iraq experience could be extremely dangerous, and that they can present this united front more and more to the international community, and most importantly to people inside Syria.
So, yeah. We're constantly evaluating, we're constantly taking action, and I'm sure we will do more in the weeks ahead.