The Brief, May 2018

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May 14, 2018 
U.S. strikes in Syria: Good Strategy or Liability?
Johns Hopkins SAIS experts said U.S.-led air strikes coordinated with France and Britain targeting chemical weapons sites in Syria will do little to stop the ongoing civil war or reshape American foreign policy.

Conflict Management Program Director Daniel Serwer wrote in The National Interest that the military strike with a limited objective "presages no broader involvement in Syria or even clarification of U.S. goals." Read more

Foreign Policy Institute Herter/Nitze Distinguished Scholar Antony J. Blinken told Amanpour on PBS that U.S. President Donald Trump has to "recognize that a strike is not a strategy" and a comprehensive plan must follow the use of force. Watch more

Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs Hal Brands told Bloomberg that instead of symbolic strikes, the U.S. "could undertake a more serious intervention to try to shift the tide of the civil war, but that comes with much higher costs and risks." Watch more

Director of Strategic Studies Eliot A. Cohen wrote in The Atlantic a U.S. plan that would smash the Syrian air-defense system, destroy aircrafts, and kill militia members would have been "closer to justice, and more importantly, a use of force with a sound strategic purpose." Read more

Associate Director of Strategic Studies Mara Karlin told Think Progress that repeated contradictions by political leadership sends a signal of profound uncertainty for U.S. policy in Syria and the "idea of U.S. credibility is up in the air." Read more

The Brief highlights Johns Hopkins SAIS expertise on current events and is produced monthly by the Office of Marketing, Communications, and Strategic Initiatives. Like The Brief? Share it on Facebook and Twitter, forward to a friend, or subscribe.