Last month, on the same day Pres­i­dent Obama gave a speech that defended his deci­sion not to mil­i­tarily inter­vene in Syria, Max Abrahms, a pro­fessor at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity who spe­cial­izes in ter­rorism, tweeted a blunt query: “When was the last US inter­ven­tion in the Muslim world that was a resounding success?”

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