April 17, 2018

Operational-Level Strikes Finally Enforce Obama’s Red Line

By Lauren Fish

By all accounts, Friday night’s strikes against the Assad regime’s chemical-weapons facilities were successful — they reduced their targets to rubble, and there were no reported threats to allied forces or equipment in their aftermath. Armchair strategists are quick to point out that the strikes didn’t fit into any broader American Syria strategy. But the chemical-weapons attack of April 7 demonstrated, once again, the Syrian regime’s flagrant disregard for international moral and legal norms. And unlike last April’s retaliatory American strike on aircraft used for chemical-weapons delivery at Shayrat Air Base, Friday’s strikes sought to hit the heart of the regime’s chemical-weapons capabilities, and were coordinated with our oldest and closest allies.

They also marked a departure from Obama-era analysis paralysis in Syria. It was the Obama administration that delayed striking Assad and preventing future chemical-weapons attacks almost five years ago. It was the Obama administration that argued chlorine gas was a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2014, though it was widely known to be used on the Syrian battlefield throughout Obama’s time in office. It was the Obama administration that was caught by strategic surprise when the leadership vacuum left by the United States led the Russians to enter the Syrian fray in the fall of 2015, bringing with them high-tech military equipment for battlefield testing and deployability and bolstering their standing on the world stage. It was the Obama administration that argued a false choice between catastrophic nuclear war and limited strikes on targeted regime elements.


Read the full article at National Review

  • Commentary
    • Defense One
    • April 2, 2020
    Let Them Work From Home

    Earlier this week Defense One reported that senior military service branch representatives requested a one-month delay in the submission of their annual budgets, arguing that ...

    By Susanna V. Blume

  • Podcast
    • March 11, 2020
    Former top defense official Robert Work on "Intelligence Matters"

    In this episode of Intelligence Matters, guest host Admiral James "Sandy" Winnefeld (ret.) speaks with Robert Work, the 32nd United States Deputy Secretary of Defense for both...

    By Robert O. Work

  • Commentary
    • War on the Rocks
    • March 10, 2020
    The Case for a Pacific Deterrence Initiative

    When war broke out in Ukraine in 2014 the Department of Defense moved swiftly to invest billions in near-term enhancements in Europe to address growing military-operational sh...

    By Randy Schriver & Eric Sayers

  • Video
    • February 26, 2020
    Army trade-offs within FY21 budget

    Susanna Blume, senior fellow and director of the Defense Program at CNAS, discusses the Army leadership’s approach to the FY21 budget. Watch the full conversation in Governme...

    By Susanna V. Blume

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia