Friday, April 7, 2017

The Consequences of the Airstrike on Syria

      The United States launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at the al-Shayrat airbase in Syria in retaliation for Bashar al Assad's chemical weapons attack on civilians April 4. It was obviously a controversial move with both domestic and international political communities. It is too early to pose any reasonable speculation on the long term effects, but here are one short term observations.
      Although the cruise missile attack was the first direct assault on Assad’s forces, it does not mean inevitable war with Syria. I cones wariness of the about face regarding regime change by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson which come less than a week after saying regime change in Syria is off the table. Toppling secular regimes in the Middle East has proven disastrous as radical Islamist tend to seize power. Donald Trump campaigned against further nation building adventures in the Middle East, and my fingers are crossed he keeps his commitment to putting America first.
      Neither is the military strike the beginning of World War III. While Syria is an ally of Russia and there were Russian personnel at al Sayrat, Russia was given a heads up the attack was coming in order to get their forces out. The early warning also means the Syrians were given a heads up by proxy. The missile attack was a show of force to send a message, not to provoke a war. Russia knows this and is playing the game by sending a warship to Syria's coast. It is a game, but it I a dangerous game. A mistake can be costly, but no one will deliberately escalate the Syria issue to a conflict between Russia and the United States. The bottom line is if Russia wanted war with the United States, it would seize the Baltics and fight us in Europe. They have not made a move there, so the Russians definitely are not going to make a provocative move in Syria.
   I mentioned above my concerns about Trump spending time and resources on an international endeavor he campaigned against. Remember Hillary Clinton wanted to enforce a no fly zone over Syria. We probably would be on the road to war with her as president. Clinton was deeply entrenched with the deep state that really makes foreign policy. They favor globalism and may now have trump's ear. At least many of Trump's media supporters think so, as they have been denouncing the missile strike from the moment it happened. I am not lost much enthusiasm for trump yet, but I hope he will resume his focus on domestic issues and not get bogged down in 'saving the world.”

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