Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


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Our Red Lines and Theirs

Opinion Piece/Newspaper Article

Benjamin Buch - PhD Candidate, Political Science at Stanford
Scott D. Sagan - Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science; FSI and CISAC Senior Fellow

Published by
Foreign Policy, December 13, 2013

First paragraph of the article:

If the Syrian civil war and, in particular, the horrific Ghouta attack this August have reminded the world of the persistent danger of chemical weapons, it is worth remembering that this is not the first time the United States has confronted a Middle Eastern dictator armed with weapons of mass destruction. During the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein possessed large stockpiles of chemical weapons, which he had used frequently in his 8-year war with Iran during the 1980s. And yet Iraq did not use these weapons against the U.S.-led coalition forces, even as they soundly defeated the Iraqi army, pushing it from Kuwait. For two decades, the question has been, why no