All 3 presidents backed off strikes: Trump in ’19, Obama in ’13, Clinton in ’98 | Analysis|


WASHINGTON — The president calls off a missile strike on a Middle Eastern country at the last minute, overruling his national security advisers, confusing allies and adversaries, and provoking criticism from hawks in his own party, who warn that his vacillation could erode America’s credibility in a dangerous world.

That was President Barack Obama facing off against Syria in 2013. It was also President Trump confronting Iran on Thursday night.

The parallels between Mr. Trump’s cancellation of a missile strike on Iran and Mr. Obama’s decision to shelve a strike on President Bashar al-Assad of Syria are so tantalizing that some Republicans lost no time in highlighting them.

“I think it’s important that people recognize that the United States is going to keep its word and not go down the path that President Obama went down,” Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said on Friday to a reporter for CNN.