David Eckels Wade, theatlantic.com
I was chief of staff at the State Department the last time a president considered punishing Assad for using chemical weapons. The complexities we faced then are worth considering as Trump contemplates what’s next in Syria.
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The current president has too often denigrated and alienated the intelligence community, and in so doing he has enabled other countries, like Russia, to try and undercut his own undeniable case for action. In 2013, as the U.S. and its allies deliberated, the Russians absurdly worked with the Syrian regime to cast surreal public doubt about who was responsible for the massacre in Ghouta [see]. They're already doing the same about Idlib [see]. This is a time when the public diplomacy role of the State Department can be particularly valuable. ...