June 21, 2019

Trump’s Iran Response Underlines Republican Rift Over National Security

Featuring Richard Fontaine

Source: The New York Times

Journalist Julie Herschfeld Davis

President Trump’s decision to pull back on a planned military strike against Iran has divided Republicans, pitting hawks who criticized his midoperation retreat against a noninterventionist wing that sided with most Democrats to praise it.

The rift highlights a longstanding debate in the Republican Party over national security that has played out inside Mr. Trump’s White House and in the halls of Congress, and has resurfaced as Iran’s bellicose actions have rekindled questions over lawmakers’ roles in matters of war and peace. It has also pointed up profound concerns among some Republicans, who are normally loath to criticize the president over such issues.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking House Republican, said on Friday that she was concerned about Mr. Trump’s restraint in response to the downing of an American drone, comparing it with President Barack Obama’s unfulfilled threat to strike Syria if it crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons.

Read the full article and more in The New York Times.


  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...