Robert Ford served as the last U.S. Ambassador to Syria. He arrived in the country right before the protests began there in 2011 and he was witness to the beginnings of the civil war. In 2012 he was pulled out over security concerns, but he continued to work on the crisis in Syria back in DC until 2014, when he left the Foreign Service. Robert Ford now lives with his wife Alison in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, which is about as far from the Middle East as you can get. We met in his living room on a rainy day last week, right after the chemical attack in Syria and right before Trump’s military response. We talked about his personal experience in Syria and the role of diplomacy in the Middle East.