Is the red line only rhetoric?: Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), Syria's civil war, the United States failed foreign policy and its unintended ramifications




Milmine, Karen

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The thesis evaluates Middle Eastern foreign policy of the George W. Bush and Obama administrations in the Syrian civil war and the utilization of chemical weapons in August 2013. The United States' response to the chemical attack on Damascus highlights an inability to deal with Middle East instability due to the Arab Spring's secular and religious conflict and long-term violent conflict further damages the American presence in this region. The thesis utilizes a historical analysis of the U.S. relationship with Syria, to highlight problematic foreign policy constructions under the Bush and Obama administrations, as well as analysis of its political ramifications. The evidence reveals erosion of the U.S. as moral arbiter of geopolitical conflicts due to "red line" rhetoric, wherein foreign policy is unable to respond to the Assad regime and Russian chemical weapons dealmaking isolates the U.S. from its role as negotiator in international conflicts.



Social sciences, Chemical weapons, Foreign policy, Syria, United States