The president and his military advisors decided to destroy chemical warfare assets of Syria after Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against Syrian rebels several days ago.
The Trump administration has made it perfectly clear that the strike was a one-time proposition to significantly degrade Assad’s capability to use chemical agents against Syrians dissidents. It was not an attempt to destabilize or overthrow the current regime or start a war, as many in Congress are now saying. Department of Defense officials reiterated that the primary objective of the US’s presence in Syria continues to be the total elimination ISIS.
By all accounts the mission was a success. The DOD provided photos of obliterated structures that housed Syria’s chemical warfare infrastructure. Pentagon officials stated that Syria’s ability to produce more chemical weapons has been seriously impacted.
Over 100 missiles were launched by a coalition including the US, Great Britain and France. They rained down on three critical locations. The attack took place at 4 a.m. to decrease collateral damage. All missiles fired hit their targets. As of yesterday morning the DOD indicated that there were no civilian casualties. All US warplanes returned safely, and there were no coalition casualties.
Neither Russia nor Iran retaliated during the attack. The DOD indicated that no defensive systems were employed by Russia to repel the incoming missiles.
The US government and military are to be congratulated for a well-planned and measured response to Syrian’s use of weapons of mass destruction. President Trump’s diligence and restraint is admirable. The attack will give Assad second thoughts about using chemical weapons in the future.
The US coordinated with Russia to ensure that its personnel, weapons and equipment were not jeopardized, and that the incident would not escalate into a more dangerous conflict.
It should be recognized that US missile technology proved to be very effective, and that American military power is second to no other country in the world. To accomplish so much without casualties is a blessing made possible by excellent planning and execution by our military.
There is a risk that Russia and Iran could increase tensions in Syria by taking action against American forces in the region. The DOD has said they are prepared to deal with such a contingency. Presumably US war assets will now remain on high alert for the foreseeable future.
Almost immediately the liberal press and, surprisingly, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were looking to criticize the Syrian offensive. Most significantly they indicated that Trump did not solicit approval of Congress for the military action. The president responded by saying he was acting in the self-defense of our nation, and the use and continued proliferation of chemical weapons justified the attack. It should be noted that many presidents in recent history have acted without congressional endorsement for similar actions.
As far as international law is concerned, the aforementioned self defense argument coupled with a desire to stop further atrocities on the part of Syria were reasons enough for the US and its allies to act.
More than one liberal lawmaker said that if we were so concerned about the Syrian rebels, why don’t we welcome more immigrants from the country? It’s an inflammatory comment. The US is not required constitutionally to come to the rescue of any other nations or groups of people. We do it because it is appropriate for us as a world leader to do so. Immigration is a totally separate issue.
The US acted righteously. I predicted this would happen in my last blog, as the US must ensure that rogue regimes know that we will act if they commit atrocities.
The unfortunate part of this episode is the role of Russia in Syria. Trump rhetorically asked Russia how it could justify being an ally of a vicious murderer who employs chemical weapons. It’s doubtful that Putin will respond.