Obama's 'Red Line' That Wasn't

Inside the president’s last-minute decision not to bomb Syria in 2013.

In August of 2012, Barack Obama made a statement that Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons would constitute a “red line.” When Assad’s army killed more than 1,400 people with sarin gas one year later, the president initially believed that he would carry out a strike. Atlanticnational correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg takes us inside the day that Obama broke with the Washington playbook with his last-minute decision not to bomb Syria. To read more about the president’s foreign policy legacy, read The Atlantic ’s April 2016 cover story, “ The Obama Doctrine .”