Kerry: Not Attacking Syria in 2013 ‘Cost’ the US

Blames Congress for Stopping 2013 US War

The Secretary of State since 2013, John Kerry has held the post through a number of American wars. In his own mind, however, the most prominent war is the one that got away, the announced summer of 2013 US attack on Syria, which never ultimately materialized.

Kerry insisted that not attacking Syria in 2013 had “cost” the US in its reputation in the Middle East. During the lead-up to the already announced war, President Obama appointed Kerry the “chief advocate” of the war. Kerry repeatedly claimed “everyone knows” Syria had used chemical weapons and that the US had to attack them as a result.

Kerry went on to insist that it wasn’t his nor President Obama’s fault that the war didn’t happen, insisting Obama “never made a decision not to bomb” Syria. Rather, he simply wasn’t able to get Congressional support for the war. Kerry claimed he’d gotten a deal to get the chemical weapons out of Syria because they couldn’t get the war vote through.

Kerry insisted, however, that the US is “on the right course” now with all their current wars, so long as they “do not retreat.” The US did manage to get some troops into Syria in 2015, though it was a smaller number, and not explicitly centered around a US-imposed regime change.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.