The Myth of Credibility

Whether two states can cooperate with each other is a consequence of shared interests, not the cause.

Xander Snyder |February 1, 2019

There’s a word we’ve heard a lot about lately, one that enters our political vernacular as quickly as it leaves, coming and going according to how politically expedient it is at any given moment. It was all the rage during the Cold War, when U.S. politicians campaigned hard to prove how much tougher on communism they were than their opponents were. It resurfaced a few years ago, when President Barack Obama failed to honor his pledge to bomb Syria if its government attacked rebels with chemical weapons – which allegedly it did. The word found its way back into the zeitgeist in December, where it has remained ever since President Donald Trump announced without warning that the U.S. would withdraw its forces from Syria. That word, of course, is credibility.

Trump’s sudden policy change rankled security officials in his administration, prompting the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, but more important for our purposes here, it supposedly called into question Washing

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The Myth of Credibility