The NBC News year-in-review article for 2016 had the following headline:
“What Can Trump Do to Stop Syria War from Haunting U.S.?”
Surprisingly, the article admitted that Syria is a disaster and was Obama’s own doing:
One thing is clear: President Barack Obama has left his successor a mess in Syria. After the interventions of his predecessor George W. Bush, Obama has been reluctant to project U.S. power abroad.
Obama said Syrian President Bashar Assad must go, but never seriously committed resources to removing him. He kept U.S. ground troops out of the war but failed to properly arm rebels on the ground. Obama drew a red line on the use of chemical weapons in 2013 but failed to follow through with punitive action against Assad once they were used to devastating effect.
The Syrian war, like the neighboring conflict in Iraq, has arguably exposed American weakness and diminished its moral authority in the world.