Asking if U.S. Remarks Helped Embolden Assad


WASHINGTON — On March 30, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and United Nations Ambassador Nikki R. Haley, in separate appearances, reversed American foreign policy and said the Trump administration was not focused on getting rid of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

The next day, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, backed them up, and spoke of a “political reality that we have to accept in terms of where we are right now.”

Four days later, on April 4, Mr. Assad launched the deadliest chemical attacks since 2013, dropping the nerve agent sarin in a dawn strike that drew condemnation from around the world and prompted the first American military strikes against the Syrian regime, and the first national security crisis of President Trump’s term.

At the Pentagon and in national security circles, the lightning series of events has raised a sharp question: Did the Haley-Tillerson-Spicer remarks embolden Mr. Assad to believe that he could get away with the chemical weapons attack?

“The close proximity of Haley and Tillerson’s comments may have given Assad the assurance that he could do this,” said Linda Robinson, a senior international policy analyst at RAND Corporation who traveled to the region in February with Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the commander of the United States Central Command.

Read full article

You may also read!

The Secrets of ‘Cognitive Super-Agers’

One of my greatest pleasures during the Covid-19 shutdowns


Is Education No Longer the ‘Great Equalizer’?

There is an ongoing debate over what kind of


Even the terrorist threat to the United States is now partisan

Hours after he announced his objection to forming a


Mobile Sliding Menu