President Trump and his advisers are rightly concerned about Syria and North Korea. These rogue states, guilty of human rights atrocities, pose the risk of wider violence and destabilization. Syria’s civil war has already created millions of refugees, has rekindled diseases (e.g. polio) that were once thought to be extinct and has allowed the country to become a haven for Islamic State terrorists. And yet, these should be lesser concerns in the bigger scheme.
Former Israeli ambassador to the United States and esteemed historian
The framework agreements with North Korea and Syria, concluded respectively in 1994 and 2013, were similar in many ways. Both recognized that the regimes already possessed weapons of mass destruction or at least the means to produce them. Both assumed that the regimes would surrender their arsenals under an international treaty and open their facilities to inspectors. And both believed that these repressive states, if properly engaged, could be brought into the community of nations.
All those assumptions were wrong.
He praises the administration for the strikes on Syria and for sending ships to patrol off North Korea to uphold the framework behind anti-WMD agreements, but the danger from these states is of lesser magnitude than that from Iran, without which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would not remain