Rebeccah L. Heinrichs, a contributing editor at Providence, is a fellow at Hudson Institute where she provides research and commentary on a variety of international security issues and specializes in deterrence and counter-proliferation. She is also the vice-chairman of the John Hay Initiative’s Counter-proliferation Working Group and the original manager of the House of Representatives Bi-partisan Missile Defense Caucus.
If Assad is permitted to continue employing chemical weapons with impunity, he will successfully normalize them. US forces, our allies, and civilians in the region and around the world will be in great danger of becoming victims of the same.
The United States must be able to convince our adversaries that Americans have the will and capability to inflict punishment on them in response to an act of aggression such that they would not carry out the act of aggression in the first place, and so the United States won’t have to inflict the punishment it promises.