Key Points: Syrian President Bashar Assad, conduct, Senator Rand Paul, Obama, and previous.

Barack ObamaFormer President Barack Obama. Associated Press Associated Press

A former Obama administration National Security Council staffer, Barry Pavel, slammed the previous president’s policies in Syria on Fox News Monday, saying that Obama’s inaction led to unstable situation. He also praised President Donald Trump’s April 4 missile strike in Syria. 

“I think [Obama] left a more dangerous world,” Pavel said. “Potential adversaries know we had the capability, but not the will. Because they knew that the Obama administration would never use military force for any purpose, they felt free to conduct their coercive actions in the South China Seas, the Russians went into Iran and Syria and North Korea accelerated their nuclear arms program.”

Pavel said that he suggested being more forceful with rogue leaders like Syrian President Bashar Assad, but Obama did not want to commit hundreds of thousands of troops. In response, Pavel said there was a middle ground between the two options. 

Gary Samore, Obama’s White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction, also praised Trump’s decision. 

donald trumpPresident Donald Trump during a meeting at the White House. Andrew Harnick/Associated Press AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

“I applaud Trump,” Samore said. “It was the kind of strike that Obama was planning – a limited military attack against the airfields in order to deter Assad from carrying out additional chemical weapons attacks, but he decided not to use it. Obama made a huge mistake by saying he was going to go to Congress for authorization, it turned out he did not have the votes.

While Trump’s strike on Syria has mostly received bi-partisan support, some lawmakers have criticized the move. 

“This escalation is short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia,” Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said in a statement . “This administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States’ attack on Syria without waiting for the collection of evidence from the scene of the chemical poisoning.”

Gabbard herself was criticized earlier this year for taking a secret fact-finding mission to Damascus, where she met with Assad.

Republican Senator Rand Paul also criticized Trump’s decision, saying that the president needed Congressional authorization for the strike.