Fletcher in the News

Confidence in U.S. Wanes: Professor Martel Weighs In

William C. Martel is Associate Professor of International Security Studies at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.

An Israeli air strike on military targets in Syria Wednesday signals a lack of confidence in the Obama administration’s foreign policy and its commitment to one of its strongest allies, international security experts said yesterday.

…William C. Martel, an international security expert at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, said that because Obama first drew a “red line” against Syria and then backed off, the United States’ foreign policy reputation took a hit. Martel said Saudi Arabia’s recent decline of a roving seat on the United Nations Security Council was partly because of the U.S. mil­itary’s inaction in Syria.

“The Saudis have said they have doubts about the credibility of America’s reputation on foreign policy,” Martel said. “I suspect the Israelis might be thinking the same thing.”

Martel said Israel’s air strike was not only a sign that they take the Syrian threat seriously, but also was a flexing of military muscle aimed at Iran, suspected of building a nuc­lear weapons program.

“To Washington, it sends the signal that Israel is prepared to use force, and that may put pressure on the United States if it sees its ally is willing to use mil­itary force on Iran,” Martel said.

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