September 3, 2013
President Obama’s Syria plans expose the weaknesses in his foreign policy.
The administration’s plan won’t effectively deter future chemical attacks, nor will it change the balance in Syrian civil war. Its proposed military response are part of no coherent long-term strategy and would be ineffective, Heritage Middle East scholar James Phillips explains:
But military force is a blunt and bloody instrument for sending signals. Those signals may not have the desired consequences. If Assad brushes them off and continues his serial mass murders, then the Administration will look ineffective and irresolute.
Over the weekend, the President said he would seek Congress’ approval before launching an attack on Syria. Consulting the legislative branch is the correct thing to do, but President Obama went about it in all the wrong ways, Heritage Foundation foreign policy expert James Carafano writes:
From Obama’s perspective, turning to Congress now may seem like a brilliant move. If Congress votes no, he has shown he has empathy with the international community–and he is still a good guy. If Congress votes yes–and it all turns out badly–he will say we are all in this together.
But from the standpoint of acting like the world’s leader this may be the nadir of American power.
Aside from essentially passing the buck to Congress, President Obama did not clearly articulate what America’s national interests in Syria are, nor did he explain how his plans advance these interests. Moreover, President Obama should have consulted Congress sooner, before the use of force became almost imminent.
Do you think Congress should approve a military strike on Syria?