News and Commentary

Two Former Obama Officials Blast Obama’s Inaction On Syria

Two people who served as foreign policy officials in the Obama administration blame Barack Obama’s failure to act in Syria for the invigoration of America’s enemies.

The officials, former National Security Council staffer Barry Pavel and former arms and weapons of mass destruction coordinator Gary Samore, told Fox News this week that Obama “was too hesitant and too guided by a belief that dialogue was the way to deal with rogue leaders.”

​Nowhere was this more evident than Obama’s actions – or lack thereof – in Syria, where he refused to enforce his redline after Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons in 2013.

Between that and his inaction toward Russia invading Ukraine, Pavel argued that America’s enemies realized that they could act without meaningful pushback from Obama.

“Because they knew that the Obama administration would never use military force for any purpose, they felt free to conduct their coercive actions in the South China Seas, the Russians went into Iran and Syria and North Korea accelerated their nuclear arms program,” Pavel said.

While Samore praised the Iran deal, he echoed Pavel’s sentiments about Syria, arguing that Obama should have just launched airstrikes against Syria without congressional support.

“Obama made a huge mistake by saying he was going to go to Congress for authorization; it turned out he did not have the votes,” Samore said.

By contrast, Trump’s airstrikes sent the opposite message to America’s enemies: America will no longer tolerate such inhumane actions from our enemies and the consequences will be severe if they continue them, Pavel argued. Samore also voiced support for Trump’s airstrikes.

Indeed, Obama’s foreign policy legacy is mired with appeasement and failure that allowed evil to grow in the vacuum left by America’s retreat on the world stage, a fact that now even Obama’s former officials acknowledge. Trump’s foreign policy thus far has been an about-face from the Obama foreign policy, much to the dismay of America’s enemies.

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