Missiles Launched: Syrian Airbase Hit by American Strikes
On April 6, 2017, Donald Trump responded to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical attacks by launching sixty cruise missile strikes at a Syrian airbase. This airbase was responsible for the chemical attacks on Syrian people earlier this week. These strikes reportedly took out 12 Syrian jets used for carrying out chemical attacks. The United States data is showing no casualties, whereas Syrians claim one person died. Here is what you should know about Trump’s attacks on Syria.
Here’s What Happened:
- This is a slap in the face to Assad– Assad spits in the face of the rest of the world when he commits war crimes. When he uses nerve gas on his own people, he’s laughing at us. He’s been able to get away with these heinous actions because he has Russian support. We see a relationship between Assad and Putin which resembles that of North Korea and China. The smaller entities are violent, reckless, bullies. They do as they please because they feel protected by “big brother,” who’s always got their back. Yesterday, Trump stood up to this little bully. It won’t be enough to truly cripple the bloodthirsty president, though. It’s a slap in the face, and a good way of telling Assad that his actions will now have consequences.
- Trump warned the Russians of his intentions beforehand– Before launching strikes against Assad’s airbase, the White House made Russian Intelligence aware of the situation. Some have argued that this was Trump’s way of “asking Putin for permission.” However, there is no evidence to suggest this is the case. Rather, it seems it was a warning for the Russians to have their people out of the area by the time the strikes occurred. Although Russian “assets” have taken damage, sources report no Russian casualties.
The Effects of His Decision:
- This has caused a split int Trump’s following– Die-hard Trump supporters such as Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Ann Coulter have all condemned Trump’s actions. However, traditional conservatives seem to be more approving of President Trump’s actions. In regards to the missile strike, Never-Trumper Ben Shapiro stated that “Trump has certainly shown that isolationism takes a back seat when it runs up against the realities of foreign policy.”
- This is not a legal declaration of war– President Trump cannot formally declare war on any other country or entity without the expressed permission of Congress. Trump did not go to Congress for permission when he launched the airstrikes. However, he should have. Using fifty cruise missiles to destroy a Syrian airbase may be considered, by some, an act of war. Trump needs to go to Congress before he overplays his hand.
Trump’s shown that foreign policy does matter to him, despite what his Twitter may suggest. While this may be executive overreach, it shows Assad that he cannot continue to commit war crimes without repercussions. This will likely have adverse effects on Trump’s relationship with Putin. However, it is yet to be seen how committed Putin is to defending Assad; Will he back off if America continues to press against the Syrian President? Obviously, my inner Warhawk is thrilled with this decision, only regretting Trump didn’t take a larger chunk out of Assad’s regime. However, regardless of leanings on either end of the isle, this is a big step in Trump’s foreign policy legacy. We could be seeing consequences of this for years to come.