Trump Must Define America’s New Mission in Syria

Trump has some explaining to do.

One of the worst things that Barack Obama did while in office was to announce a “red line” over the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons and then, in 2013, refuse to enforce it. His failure to act gave Bashar Assad license to commit further atrocities, including the use of chemical weapons, as he did again this Tuesday. It also sent to the entire world a crippling message of American irresolution. Obama’s lack of credibility was obvious to predatory states such as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, and encouraged them to conduct further violations of international norms. It may not be entirely a coincidence that Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine a year later; at the very least the U.S. failure in Syria must have reassured Putin that Obama would do little to stop him.

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Trump Must Define America’s New Mission in Syria

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Coming to Terms With the Obama Years

Getting history right.

For political observers, it’s regarded as gauche to re-litigate Barack Obama’s presidency amid the chaos and tumult of the Trump years. Many will scoff at the effort to take stock of the precedents set in the last administration, even if the purpose of such an evaluation is to appraise how we got to where we are today. They have a point; dwelling on the last administration can suffice for a counter-narrative with no higher purpose than to give partisan Republicans a way to deflect criticisms away from Trump. But that does not absolve us of our obligation to set the record straight. When it comes to the Obama era, that record is, at times, a disturbing one.

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The World Dawns on Trump

Trump's evolution is frustrating his allies.

The most surprising criticisms of Donald Trump this week may well have come from John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador who has been a stalwart Trump supporter. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Bolton took Trump to task for, essentially, not being as revolutionary in his approach to foreign policy as his campaign rhetoric would have suggested.

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Manchester, Montana, and Hands

Podcast: On Terrorism in Manchester and hot-headed violence in Montana.

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Just How High Was Iran’s Voter Turnout?

Go to the provinces.

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The False Backlash Over Anonymous Sources

Rational skepticism or partisan angst?

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