The Road Not Taken – Obama’s Syrian Mistake

Obama came into office promising not to repeat the errors of the George W. Bush presidency, and by and large, he hasn’t. But he’s been so zealous in implementing the lessons of the Iraq War – “don’t do stupid stuff” – that he’s built his own trap by ignoring the fact that when you’re President of the United States, you don’t have the privilege of inaction. Continue reading

Carrots and Sticks Making Sense of the Past Week in Syria

The developments surrounding Syria and chemical weapons over the past week demonstrate two things. First, the use of force and the pursuit of diplomatic solutions are not mutually exclusive. The term ‘coercive diplomacy’ has real meaning. And second, the United … Continue reading

In Syria, Time for the United States to Act

Back at the end of May, when I last wrote about the mess in Syria, our options were bad and getting worse. Things have hardly improved since then. Even so, if Assad has used chemical weapons, then that fact should … Continue reading

The Syria Paradox Why the United States Can't and Must Intervene

On April 28th, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) appeared on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ and provided the country with a fine example of either ignorance or what I have elsewhere called ‘the politics of performance’ – which is a polite partial synonym for … Continue reading