ST Asian Insider video: Deterrence works, says Singapore's former top diplomat Bilahari Kausikan

WASHINGTON - When former US President Barack Obama drew a red line in Syria on the use of chemical weapons by its President Bashar al Assad in that country's civil war, he did not enforce it - eroding the credibility of American power.

But in 2018 President Donald Trump did, by striking Syria with a barrage of missiles.

"Mr Obama made wonderful speeches but was never really comfortable about exercising power," former top Singapore diplomat Bilahari Kausikan told Asian Insider host, The Straits Times US Bureau Chief Nirmal Ghosh, in the latest episode of the weekly video and podcast.

But geopolitics is all about power, Mr Kausikan said.

In the region, the most important red line, and the greatest risk, is Taiwan. But it is important to see the issue in context, he cautioned.

"China is never going to eschew the use of force; that does not mean it will use force," Mr Kausikan said.


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