During the campaign President Donald Trump campaigned against the regime change that both Barrack Obama and Hilary Clinton pursued in Libya. Tuesday’s attack using chemical weapons in Syria, which turned the northern rebel-controlled portion of Syria essentially into a death trap, has the president rethinking his options. Both Republicans and Democrats are pushing the president to pursue military engagement in Syria to remove Bashar al-Assad from power because of the on-going humanitarian crisis and claims of Assad being behind the attack himself.
Although that has not necessarily been proven, it is understandable why a reasonable person would come to that conclusion after the horrendous track record president Al-Assad has as a dictator. Personally, I believe the United States should not conduct a full fledged ground operation in Syria similar the approach taken in Iraq during 2003. U.S. involvement on that scale could bring about much bigger problems for not only the United States and Syria, but could drag other allied nations on both sides to the conflict and create a WWIII scenario. I believe that a more moderate response to the attack is more appropriate and options such as strategic airstrikes and cruise missiles are more likely to happen. It is important that the United States does not take a laissez faire approach to this though. When thinking about the Syrian conflict, I think back to the failed “red line” policy Obama enacted as president which threatened military action if the use of chemical weapons continued. As we all know, chemical weapons were continued being used and the policy was not enforced leaving the United States to look weak in the eyes of the world. I believe that Trump administration understands this and knows that we have to take some sort of action. The question that remains is what course of action he will take and how forceful he will be.
UPDATE: This article was written four hours before President Trump decided to ultimately respond to the attack with the cruise missiles we suggested were more likely to occur. Along with the cruise missels, Trump dropped 59 tomahawk bombs the following night. Critics claims that although the response was proportionate and justified, that is just is not enough. Multiple reports from sources such as Fox News, CNN, and journalist Mike Cernovich have conflicting stories of what is actually going on in the administration. Cernovich broke a story last night claiming the NSA advisor H.R. McMaster is manipulating data that is being given to the president to push for upwards to 150,000 American ground troops in Syria. Cernovich claims to have sources close to the matter and is deemed creditible after breaking the Susan Rice story earlier in the week. The following morning after Cernovich broke the story there was a report from Fox News where McMaster states that Trump is open to more military action but seeks a “political solution” in the matter. At the same time this was reported, CNN reported that U.N. embassador Nikki Haley stated that the United States does not see a peaceful Syria with Assad in power and that regime change is inevitable. So at this time it is pretty unclear what is actually going on inside the administration on this matter but time will tell.
What is intresting is that President Trump campaigned on an anti-war stance and was often critical of the way things were handled in regard to the Iraq war, Libya, and Syria by the two previous administrations. Another important part of this puzzle is that the only countries opposed to the actions the United States took are Iran, Russia, and North Korea. Russia is extremely important because of alleged ties between them and Trump, and Russia’s support for Assad and the Syrian regime. I believe that the way this conflict is handled will help give us a clearer picture of the Russia/Trump relationship. If a full fledged war does take place in Syria, it is basically impossible for U.S. to rebuild ties with the Russian’s because they will be fighting on the opposite side of the battle field. Where as if political solution takes place, which is unlikely, will show that there is some connection between the two as Trump would be unwilling to committ to having boots on the ground in Syria. The last possible scenario is that Russia changes it’s course of action in Syria and decides to no longer support the Assad regime and allign itself more closely to the United States. If Russia did decide to stop supporting Assad, that would be a win-win situation for the United States and Russia but would show a clear connection between Trump and Russia as that scenario would never happen with anyone else in office.
This is a VERY complex issue and we would love to get some of our reader’s feedback to see how they feel. Please leave your commments below!