VIDEO: Beyond the red line

Reuters

Syrian refugees, fleeing the violence in their country, wait to cross the border into the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, August 21, 2013. The government of Iraqi Kurdistan has set an entry quota of 3,000 refugees a day to cope with an influx of Kurds fleeing the civil war in Syria, but there are signs many more are still coming in, aid agencies said.

Article Highlights

  • A red line that is not abided by, in effect, becomes a green light for any rogue in the Middle East @mrubin1971

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  • The Obama admin 'has been good at tweeting outrage' over Syria's civil war, but its calculus hasn't changed

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  • One year ago, President Obama laid down a red line in Syria. Did Assad cross it yet? @mrubin1971

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One year ago, President Obama said the United States would not stand by if Syria's Bashar al-Assad crossed the red line -- meaning, used chemical weapons on his own people.

"A red line for us is when we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus," Obama said.

But that doesn't mean that the president has committed to moving toward any type of force to remove Asad.

AEI's Michael Rubin spoke with John Batchelor on the John Batchelor Show on Aug. 22, saying the Obama administration "has been good at tweeting outrage" over Syria's civil war, but its calculus hasn't changed — yet.

"A red line that is not abided by, in effect, becomes a green light for any rogue in the Middle East," Rubin warned.

Watch a taped stream of the conversation.

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About the Author

 

Michael
Rubin


  • Michael Rubin is a former Pentagon official whose major research areas are the Middle East, Turkey, Iran and diplomacy. Rubin instructs senior military officers deploying to the Middle East and Afghanistan on regional politics, and teaches classes regarding Iran, terrorism, and Arab politics on board deploying U.S. aircraft carriers. Rubin has lived in post-revolution Iran, Yemen, both pre- and post-war Iraq, and spent time with the Taliban before 9/11. His newest book, Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engagement examines a half century of U.S. diplomacy with rogue regimes and terrorist groups.


    Follow Michael Rubin on Twitter.


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    Email: mrubin@aei.org
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