Key Points

Andrea Stricker is a research fellow at FDD where she conducts research on nonproliferation, Iran, North Korea, and other security policy topics.

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Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for the Washington Times.

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Thus far, the Trump administration has exhibited notable restraint in responding to Tehran’s aggression. General Milley warned on Friday that Tehran would be unwise to confuse American restraint with American weakness. Unfortunately, President Trump’s Syria decision may send the message that the U.S. would rather withdraw than confront aggression.

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In 2013, Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force, the foreign-operations arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, famously said, “We’re not like the Americans. We don’t abandon our friends.” Trump, like Obama, seems committed to proving the Islamic Republic’s most dangerous commander right.

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Bradley Bowman is senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

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EVENT: Instruments of American Power: Implementing Foreign Policies and Protecting Against Global Threats

October 10, 2019 | 12:00

EVENT: Israel's National Security Strategies: A View from the Prime Minister's Office

July 19, 2019 | 9:45