Syria: Judge the Strategy by the Progress

September 16, 2013

With the capital reeling from the latest mass shooting, Obamacare exchanges launching in just days and Congressional Republicans plotting more shutdowns, defaults, and food stamp cuts, there is plenty to talk about. Conservatives want to paint President Obama as weak to undermine his ability to push immigration reform, climate action and investments in the economy. Their topic of choice to criticize Obama is Syria. Yet so far, Syria represents a triumph of American diplomacy: with not a shot fired, plans are moving forward to secure Assad’s chemical weapons.


A month ago, it was almost unimaginable that we could secure Assad’s chemical weapons. No one would have dreamed of such an outcome.
Sometimes people get so caught up in the headlines that they lose track of real results.
Obama has enforced the chemical weapon ban and is eliminating the threat that Syrian chemical weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists out to harm Americans – all while working with Congress, listening to the American public, and avoiding military action.
Obama threatened a strike, put the proposal before Congress and the American people, and kept pursuing diplomatic solutions that ultimately prevailed.
This is a better outcome than anybody thought possible, and he got it without firing a shot.
It’s one of the most impressive diplomatic feats we’ve seen in some time.
Pundits complaining about Obama’s Syria strategy are like players who talk trash when their team is way behind. Just look at the scoreboard: the parties talking, the international community unified, the chemical weapons being removed, and the lives saved.
The world isn’t simple. We need leaders who can be both forceful and smart in tackling international challenges. The U.S. led on this, got what we wanted, and made the world safer, all without military action.
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Category: Foreign Policy