So Assad is Guilty… Now What?

President Barack Obama seems to be going back on his word after receiving credible confirmation that the al-Assad regime is using saron gas in their civil war. Previously, he had sworn that the use of such measures would be a “game changer” as far as American involvement could be concerned. To be fair, President Obama cited the botched 2003 invasion of Iraq as an example of why important foreign policy decisions absolutely cannot be made with incomplete or potentially inaccurate information. In a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan last week, the two discussed the feasibility of increased nonlethal aid, and Obama concluded the collaboration by promising to double the Americans’ assistance. Interestingly, it was the regime that had originally invited (encouraged) the United Nations inspectors to make their own judgments about the use of chemical weapons. Perhaps al-Assad though he could get away with it, or perhaps there was an elaborate effort to frame the opposition. In any case, Prime Minster David Cameron echoed the careful approach of the Obama administration, while basically admitting he has already made up his mind. Does this mean Obama is working to avoid a foreign policy disaster like his predecessor? With his approval ratings hovering just south of midpack and a recalcitrant Congress to contend with, caution may just be the best thing for his remaining years in office.      

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