Who is Edward Snowden? It depends on who you ask. Many on the left have been quick to take him at his word and have concluded that he’s a whistleblower and a concerned citizen. Members of Congress and high-level intelligence officials call him a traitor. At the very least, he violated the oath that he took to not disclose classified information — which certainly makes him a felon. But to really understand who Edward Snowden is, one must seek to understand the motivations behind his actions. And the more one does, the less convincing his hero persona becomes.
Phillip Lohaus | All Articles
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Phillip Lohaus is a research fellow with the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
The timing of the Syrian Revolution could not have been better for Bashar al-Assad. During the Bush administration, he softened his approach with the United States for fear of facing the same fate as Saddam Hussein. Times have changed. Although Assad may lose sleep over the opposition groups that continue to wrest large chunks of Syria from his control, he can rest easy knowing that the U.S. is distracted. In the past, he would have worried about the U.S. taking decisive action. Now, however, he can use the time given him by U.S. failure to engage in the crisis to establish a firm grasp of the Syrian coast or to ensure that his loyalists are well-placed throughout the country. The U.S. is now working with its NATO allies to position Patriot missiles along the Syrian border. But this will merely prevent the conflict from spreading to Turkey, and will do little to effect change within Syria’s borders. In a different era, Assad might have been gone by now. But now, he has time and room to maneuver. For the United States, it is a case of less money, more problems.