Airstrike Fall-Out

I know not everybody has the resources or the inclination to look for all the opinions on the US airstrike on the Syrian airfield….I thought I would give my readers the sources to check if they were interested….most of these are from the MSM…..there will be others.  Sorry some are for subscription sites but if you follow them you can read the opinions……

A lot to take in but worth the effort……more to come……

Officials in the Trump administration on Sunday demanded that Russia stop supporting the Syrian government or face a further deterioration in its relations with the United States. – Washington Post

The Trump administration said its focus in Syria is the defeat of Islamic State, not pushing President Bashar al-Assad from power. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, in separate interviews on Sunday, said the administration’s decision last week to strike an Assad regime airfield wasn’t a sign that the U.S. is now focused on toppling the Syrian leader. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

More than 80 civilians were killed in what Western analysts called a sarin attack by Syrian forces — a chilling demonstration that the agreement did not succeed. In recent days, former aides have lamented what they considered one of the worst moments of the Obama presidency and privately conceded that his legacy would suffer. – New York Times

With President Xi Jinping safely out of the United States and no longer President Trump’s guest, China’s state-run media on Saturday was free to denounce the missile strike on Syria, which the American president told Mr. Xi about while they were finishing dinner. – New York Times

For Syrians who have withstood years of unbridled assault and deprivation by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, the American missile strike on a military airfield served as a short-term adrenaline shot of vengeful satisfaction, tinged with cynicism and fear. – New York Times

In the wake of President Trump’s strike on a Syrian airfield in retaliation for deadly chemical weapons attacks, U.S. lawmakers want the commander-in-chief to spell out his broader strategy in Syria, and soon. – Defense News

Senior Trump administration officials did not disclose to lawmakers any long-term plans for dealing with Syrian strongman Bashar Assad or the years-old conflict in his country, further complicating President Donald Trump’s relationship with Congress. – Roll Call

Sen. Marco Rubio stepped up his criticisms of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday, saying that the nation’s top diplomat is espousing a Syria policy that might be doomed to failure. – Politico

A former Obama official acknowledged Sunday that the U.S. “always knew” an agreement with Syrian President Bashar Assad did not clear all chemical weapons out of Syria, despite the fact that the administration touted the deal as an unequivocal success at the time – Washington Examiner

Joint Russia-Iranian forces operating in Syria warned the Trump administration over the weekend that further American strikes on the war-torn country will unleash a “lethal response,” according to official statements aimed at ratcheting up tension with the United States following a string of fresh airstrikes on Syrian strongholds. – Washington Free Beacon

Josh Rogin reports: President Trump’s decision to take limited military strikes against a Syrian military base Thursday is a potential game-changer for Syria, but only if the Trump administration follows through with a strategy to increase the pressure on Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its partners, according to the lead negotiator for the Syrian opposition. – Washington Post

Interview: US missile strikes on a Syrian air base from where a deadly chemical weapons attack is believed to have been launched send a clear message that the United States is now “directly engaged” in addressing the mass homicide perpetrated by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, said Frederic C. Hof, director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. – Atlantic Council

Editorial: The administration should, meanwhile, make another effort to draw Russia and Syria’s neighbors into a negotiation on the country’s future, using the new leverage provided by Mr. Trump’s demonstrated willingness to use force. It should seek bipartisan congressional support, including the authorization of military force in the event of further atrocities — even if the White House has, as we believe, the constitutional leeway to act without it. Mr. Trump has created an opportunity for the United States, and for his presidency, in Syria. Its ultimate value will depend on how well he follows up. – Washington Post

Editorial: When the Bush Administration failed to find the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein was thought to have, opponents used the intelligence failure to discredit the war in Iraq and call George W. Bush a liar. Will there be any even remotely similar accounting after the Obama Administration’s intelligence failure in Syria, where Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons we were told he didn’t have? – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Editorial: The larger point for Mr. Trump to recognize is that he is being tested. The world—friend and foe—is watching to see how he responds to Mr. Assad’s war crime. His quick air strike on the evening he was having dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping makes clear that the Obama era is over. If he now follows with action to protect Syrian civilians and construct an anti-Assad coalition, he may find that new strategic possibilities open up to enhance U.S. interests and make the Middle East more stable. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

FPI Board Member Robert Kagan writes: Let’s hope that the Trump administration is prepared for the next move. If it is, then there is a real chance of reversing the course of global retreat that Obama began. A strong U.S. response in Syria would make it clear to the likes of Putin, Xi Jinping, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Kim Jong Un that the days of American passivity are over. – Washington Post

FPI Executive Director Christopher J. Griffin writes: By overturning entrenched assumptions about the war, Trump’s airstrikes have opened the way toward a complete rethinking of the policy he inherited from his predecessor – one which until yesterday, he openly embraced. The great unknown is whether President Trump has either clear outcomes in mind for Syria or a strategy to achieve them. If the president is considering a sustained set of airstrikes, it would be preferable from him to request from Congress a formal authorization for the use of military force. – Foreign Policy Initiative

Frederick Kagan writes: Stopping Assad’s barbarity is as central to defeating ISIS as any direct military action against the group. The U.S. must work to dampen the flames of sectarian war in Syria by pressing extremists on both sides — ISIS and Al Qaeda among the Sunni; Assad and his Iranian allies among the Alawites. Only when the extremists are marginalized and moderates re-empowered can we hope to end the serious threat to America’s security now emanating from Syria. Trump’s actions offer some hope of accomplishing that aim. – New York Daily News

James Rubin writes: While the limited missile strike was a commendable and overdue response to the use of chemical weapons and to countless other war crimes perpetrated by the regime in Damascus, the public performance of President Trump and his team throughout this tragic episode hardly inspires confidence. On the contrary, the administration demonstrated a dangerous degree of incoherence and inconsistency. – New York Times

Peter Feaver writes: Candidate Trump repeatedly promised that he would not simply conduct American foreign policy in the way Obama did. By punishing Assad for his brazen violation of international law and basic human decency, Trump took a significant step forward in fulfilling that campaign promise. But Trump also promised that his approach would produce more lasting success than Obama’s. Whether he fulfills that promise will depend on what comes next, not on what happened Thursday. – Foreign Policy’s Elephants in the Room

Danielle Pletka writes: Let us hope that in the days to come, the new President and his national security team will make clear that the Trump administration has a strategy to defeat our enemies and to renew the American people’s support for decisive US leadership that will keep us safe, begin to end terror’s scourge, start the resolution of the refugee problem and turn around the weakness of the last eight years. Let us hope. – CNN

Thomas Donnelly writes: Whatever the president’s motivation, there’s a good case to be made that, at least in regard to the Middle East, a coherent approach is emerging from the administration. This represents both a reversal from the Iran-first gambit of the Obama years and a reaffirmation of the traditional U.S. strategy that held sway from Jimmy Carter in 1979 through George W. Bush in 2009. – The Weekly Standard

Walter Russell Mead writes: Mr. Trump has passed his first test, but more difficult ones are yet to come. If he is to succeed—and every American and friend of world peace must pray that he does—he will need a team in the White House that commands his full confidence. The extraordinary talents now in charge at the State Department, the Defense Department and the National Security Council need to staff up and surround themselves with the best the country can offer. There is no job in the world more difficult than the U.S. presidency. President Trump will need all the help he can get. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Eli Lake writes: If Trump can hasten the collapse of Assad’s foul dictatorship, or at least end his ability to gas his own people, this White House may end up earning strange new respect of the liberal internationalists so disappointed by Obama’s careful inaction. You know who I mean — people like Samantha Power. – Bloomberg View

Jennifer Cafarella and Genevieve Cassagrande write: The U.S strike against an Assad regime base in northern Syria on April 6, 2017 opened the door to a reorientation of American strategy in the Middle East. President Trump’s action could reset the terms of America’s confrontation of other hostile states, such as North Korea. President Trump may be shifting away from a narrow focus on the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) as the strategic priority in Syria and toward a new approach. – Institute for the Study of War

Brian Katulis writes: [N]ow that the United States has taken action, it should take robust steps to ensure that these strikes, which come at a time of operational and tactical military escalations in Iraq and Yemen, are nested in a wider regional strategy that places a high premium on working closely with our partners in the region to prevent a wider escalation. This requires an investment in diplomatic tools — which Trump has proposed undercutting in his budget — and it requires an integrated strategy to make sure that America is not just adding fuel to a fire that has led to the collapse of states across the region. – Foreign Policy’s Shadow Government

Ilan Goldenberg and Nicholas Heras writes: If the United States is to turn the limited tactical strikes in Syria into a real strategic gain, the Trump team will have to change its approach, and focus not only on winning the war but also on winning the peace. – Washington Post

Colin Kahl writes: As the afterglow and applause of the missile strikes fade, finding a way to advance American interests in Syria while avoiding a war with Russia is the urgent task at hand. After all, sinking into a Syrian quagmire would be bad enough. World War III would be far worse. – Washington Post

AS you can see there is a wealth of opinions….everybody has one…..hopefully this will help my readers educate themselves and form a learned opinion…..and then join in the conversation.

This escalation is too important to ignore.

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8 thoughts on “Airstrike Fall-Out

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  2. Everyone assumes that the Syrian rebels are right to oppose Assad, and that their motives are justified, and acceptable. I am no expert, but has anyone ever delved that deeply into just what the rebels are fighting for? By the last count, there were some 50+ groups fighting the government there. Because they oppose the ‘hated’ Assad, they are presumed to be worthy of support. But are they? Just wondering…
    Best wishes, Pete.

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