Last week, innocent civilians in Syria suffered a chemical weapons attack that most likely came from their dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Following the attack, president Trump gave orders to launch 59 tomahawk missiles to destroy an airfield used by the Assad regime to launch these attacks.
On Sunday, the former Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy National Security Advisor for President Obama indicated that the U.S. “always knew” that the Assad regime kept some of the chemical weapons after their agreement in 2013.
“We always knew we had not gotten everything, that the Syrians had not been fully forthcoming in their declaration,” Tony Blinken told The New York Times.
Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, and John Kerry, Obama’s secretary of state, have been touting their 2013 agreement with Russia and Syria for years.
The agreement aimed to remove all of the chemical weapons stockpiles from the Assad regime.
In fact, Kerry said Syria was purged “100 percent” of its chemical agents in 2014.
After the heinous attacks on civilians last week by Assad, it appears that Syria either acquired new chemical weapons or they had them hidden and stored to avoid detection.
Nevertheless, the Obama administration has received an onslaught of criticism, and they deserve most of it. Not necessarily because Assad did something bad, but rather how they have used the argument of “securing Syria” as a major accomplishment for years when the country has progressively gotten worse.
Ann-Marie Slaughter, a former Obama State Department official, praised President Trump’s move to launch missile strikes in Syria on Twitter, suggesting that something had finally been done after “years of useless hand-wringing in the face of hideous atrocities.”
Donald Trump has done the right thing on Syria. Finally!! After years of useless handwringing in the face of hideous atrocities.
— Anne-Marie Slaughter (@SlaughterAM) April 7, 2017
Other former Obama administration officials decided to blame Assad for failing to fully disclose all of his chemical weapons.
One former adviser to Obama went as far as to say that the Obama presidency would suffer because of the decisions made in Syria.
“If the Syrian government carried out the attack and the agent was sarin, then clearly the 2013 agreement didn’t succeed in its objective of eliminating Bashar’s C.W.[chemical weapons],” said Robert Einhorn, the former State Department special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control under Obama prior to the agreement.
“Either he didn’t declare all his C.W. and kept some hidden in reserve, or he illegally produced some sarin after his stock was eliminated — most likely the former.”
As highlighted by The New York Times, many veterans from the Obama administration consider his “handling of Syria his biggest failing and expressed regret that their administration did not stop a war that has left more than 400,000 dead and millions displaced.”