As his administration winds down, Barack Obama has plenty to be proud of. He can point to international breakthroughs that seemed unthinkable when he took office, from the nuclear agreement with Iran to the reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba after almost 60 years. He can cite the concerted international action to stave off economic catastrophe, a more constructive US approach to Latin America, and a solid if cautious relationship with China.
But as far as Obama’s legacy goes, few of these noble achievements will stick to the wall after he gives his farewell speech in January 2017. Instead, he will always be associated with the fate of one country: Syria.