Published On: Mon, Feb 11th, 2019

World War 3: How Vladimir Putin was 'shown he could VIOLATE international law'

In January, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a powerful speech in Cairo, outlining the Trump administration’s Middle East policy. The top diplomat criticised former US President Barack Obama for hugely underestimating the “tenacity and viciousness of radical Islamism” and failing to act against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad after his alleged use of chemical weapons. Mr Pompeo said: “What did we learn from all this?

“We learned that when America retreats, chaos often follows. When we neglect our friends, resentment builds and when we partner with enemies, they advance.”

Mr Pompeo added that with Mr Trump, the US “reasserted its traditional role as a force for good” in the war-ravaged country and stressed that the US President’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria was not a “change of mission”.

He said: “Let me be clear: America will not retreat until the terror fight is over.”

However, despite Mr Pompeo’s reassurances, there are still fears among worldwide leaders and experts that Mr Trump’s apparent isolationism is very similar to his predecessor’s strategy, and could not only encourage ISIS but also lead to a global conflict.

In 2017 documentary “Is America in Retreat”, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Bret Stephens noted how Mr Obama inadvertently sparked a state of global crisis with his apparent reluctance to involve the US in global affairs.

He said: “Take something like the red line in Syria.

“President Obama set a red line: ‘no use of chemical weapons.’

“Bashar Al-Assad crossed that red line by killing 1,000 people with sarin gas in Damascus [but] there were no consequences.

“Six months later, Vladimir Putin, observing what happened in Syria took Crimea in the space of a couple of days.

“Even then, there were almost no consequences.

“A few months after that, he began a process of essentially trying to annex Eastern Ukraine because he understood that he could flagrantly violate international law and not suffer serious consequences for that violation.”

Mr Stephens added that the US’ passivity could eventually lead to World War 3.

He explained: “It’s the idea that the example of one country causing one source of disorder can in fact create an environment, a permissive environment for other countries to behave the same way.”

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