My latest at the Diplomat continues the conversation on Syria, credibility, and reputation:
You can count me as among the skeptics that the Syria deal is a harbinger of impending U.S. failure. As Dan Drezner and Heather Hurlburt discussed last week, there is a growing divide between academics and policymakers on reputation and credibility. The evidence that commitments are interdependent in a way that meaningfully affects reputation is exceedingly thin. The central problem is that it is extremely difficult to send messages about resolve and determination that will be understood in the way you want them to be understood. States don’t own their reputations; friends and foes are free to draw their own (often conflicting) interpretations of events.