Broadening the Reputation Debate Over Syria

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Much has happened in the month since a chemical weapons attack killed an estimated 1,400 people in Syria. The Obama Administration accused the Assad regime of perpetrating the attack, and threatened to punish them for the atrocity, suggesting the use of force even without UN or Congressional authorization. Obama then sought Congressional support, only to find he might not get it. International and domestic opposition to American force against Syria seemed to surprise the President, who vowed the need to act while opening a path for diplomacy. Thus was born the diplomatic deal by which Syria agreed to dismantle its chemical weapons and infrastructure. If all goes according to plan, inspectors will be “on the ground” in November, with a timetable for the destruction of the weapons completed by mid-2014.