April 09, 2018

One Year Ago, Pundits Welcomed a Turning Point in Syria. They Were Wrong.

By Ilan Goldenberg and Derek Chollet

A year ago, 59 U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles hit Syria’s Sharyrat airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This was supposed to usher in a new era of U.S. leadership in the Middle East. It didn’t.

From the moment the missiles flew, pundits and lawmakers across the political spectrum swooned at U.S. President Donald Trump’s decisiveness. They were giddy the United States was finally flexing its muscles after years of former President Barack Obama’s supposed fecklessness, and asserted that Trump would oversee a broader shift to a more vigorous U.S. military role in the Middle East. America’s regional partners, who had long wanted U.S. military action against Assad — and eventually, Iran — heaped praise on the new president. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke for many when he said, “this message of resolve in the face of the Assad regime’s horrific actions will resonate not only in Damascus, but in Tehran, Pyongyang, and elsewhere.”

Read the full article at Foreign Policy 

  • Commentary
    • January 20, 2021
    Sharper: Day One

    The Biden-Harris administration will confront a range of national security challenges from the moment it takes office....

    By Chris Estep

  • Commentary
    • The National Interest
    • January 19, 2021
    Could Europe’s INSTEX Help Save the Iran Nuclear Deal?

    Supporting INSTEX would illustrate not only that “America is back,” but that the Biden administration is taking humanitarian concerns seriously without sacrificing security in...

    By ​Francis Shin

  • Commentary
    • December 16, 2020
    Sharper: 2020

    2020 featured an ever-evolving series of national security challenges....

    By Sam Dorshimer, Nathalie Grogan, Emily Jin, Chris Estep & Cole Stevens

  • Reports
    • December 16, 2020
    A New U.S. Strategy for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    Executive Summary Key Proposition Today’s realities demand that the United States change its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its current focus is on high-profile...

    By Ilan Goldenberg, Michael Koplow & Tamara Cofman Wittes

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia