[Anna Karayiannopoulou]: With the crisis in Iraq re-emerging on the international scene and the civil war in Syria continuing, President Obama faces criticism for his hesitant approach, according to many, regarding foreign policy matters. The White House counters by saying that dynamics are above military power. In August 2013, dozens of men, women, and children lay dead from a chemical attack by the Assad regime. The President of Syria crossed the red line set by Washington, without any military consequences. [Zenia Dormant]: No one believes the US’s red lines anymore because of Syria. Assad was allowed to cross them without consequences. [Anna Karayiannopoulou]: Zenia Dormant from the British Chatham House Institute emphasizes that the US remains the strongest military and economic power in the world, and that’s why the impression that Washington is unwilling to use its power is dangerous. [Zenia Dormant]: If some countries, like China, believe that they can capture territories, as Russia did in Crimea without any consequences, then they are not going to respect red lines, eventually forcing the involvement of the US or the West. [Anna Karayiannopoulou]: Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March sparked criticisms toward the USA’s stance, but the West didn’t have many options, states Professor Arne Westad from the London School of Economics. [Arne Westad]: The West’s options, especially after the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, were extremely limited. Let’s not forget that Russia has nuclear weapons. [Anna Karayiannopoulou]: In a recent speech to the graduates of the Military Academy at West Point, New York, President Obama stated that it is wrong to get involved in a war just to avoid appearing weak in the eyes of the world. [President Obama]: I would betray my duty to you, and the country we love, if I sent you to war just because I noticed a problem somewhere in the world that needs to be resolved. [Anna Karayiannopoulou]: Zenia Dormant states that the Obama administration now asks for its allies to also contribute. [Zenia Dormant]: It wants the formation of alliances. This impression that many in Europe have, that America will be first, that America will put in the resources and they only have to support, is no longer valid. [Anna Karayiannopoulou]: Analysts note that this policy change has many supporters in Washington, where Congress wants the US to take the lead but also seeks support from others in Europe and Asia. Anna Karayiannopoulou, VOA, Washington