The United States government launched a military strike on a Syrian government air base this past Thursday. The attack was in response to a chemical attack in Syria, allegedly delivered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, that killed at least 70 people, ten of whom were children. Upon President Donald Trump’s orders, U.S. warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the airbase that was the home of the planes that carried out the chemical attack.

On a moral level, Trump’s military strike on Syria isn’t controversial. The chemical attack for which President Assad is supposedly responsible was truly horrific. He is a heinous dictator who has proven to go to grotesque measures to attain what he desires. Given the complicated nature of this situation, however, Trump’s strike does inevitably raise concerns and questions.

For one, this attack demonstrates Trump’s willingness to pivot on key diplomatic issues. Throughout the election, Trump changed his tone on numerous occasions regarding numerous topics. One thing that he remained consistent on, however, was his stance regarding military intervention in the Middle East. It’s safe to say that he staunchly opposed the idea. Attacking Hillary Clinton for her history of military intervention in that region of the world leading to unnecessary bloodshed and destabilization that led to power vacuums being ruthlessly filled by terrorist organizations was a massive part of his campaign’s isolationist rhetoric, which was parroted by his supporters. He even pinpointed Syria specifically as a country in which the United States should not intervene.

Another issue worth discussing is the nefarious legality of the air strike. On Aug. 29, 2013, Trump tweeted, “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.” Trump himself did not have Congressional approval for the Syrian airstrike.

Over the past decade, many of the United States’ military interventions in the Middle East have been justified to be executed without specific Congressional approval under the 2001 authorization by Congress to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” Attacks on the basis of this authorization have been continually stretched, but Trump’s attack quite simply does not fall under the umbrella of this authorization. Destabilizing Assad’s regime works to the benefit of the rebels in Syria trying to do the same thing. These rebels happen to be ISIS militants, which makes using this authorization to justify Trump’s attack absurd.

Finally, The United States’ strike on Syria makes our country’s relations with Russia even more volatile. The day following the airstrike, the Kremlin issued a statement denouncing President Trump’s use of military force to deal with this issue. Russia then proceeded to cease cooperation with the United States in Syria, suspending an agreement to share information about air operations over the country. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office called the airstrike a violation of international law and a “significant blow” to the Russian-American relationship. Putin and Assad are known to be allies, and the former has supported the latter’s proclamation of innocence regarding the chemical attack. Trump administration officials have alleged that Russia might have had some responsibility in the chemical attack on Syria’s citizens.

Regardless of your perspective on this multifaceted issue, one thing is certain—the attacks are extremely significant in the global landscape, and could prove to have huge implications in numerous parts of the world. Time will tell how this situation unravels.

Author: Rahul Tamta


  1. Compared to all of Trump’s other ideas this was a good one. For over 10 years America was giving Syria the classic finger wag and saying “No no no, you can’t do that.” But like a disobedient child (like myself) they didn’t listen. So now America finally let Syria taste the back of America’s hand.

    Syria: *in shock* “What? Where was the finger that I was so used to?”

    America: “You just got four of them, and some.”

  2. You are correct when you say that Donald Trump did not want to get involved in Syria. It was the correct way to handle the situation. That changed when Assad used a chemical weapon on his own people. Trump was sending a message that said he will not be putting up with acts as heinous as chemical warfare. Trump’s missile strike was both completely justified and keeps the United States in a position where they can remain hands off in Syria or take further action if Assad chooses to continue to cross lines, such as chemical warfare. Trump’s attack on the air base also did not need congressional approval because chemical warfare is a threat to the ground forces that the U.S. has in Syria. The destruction of the chemicals and other specific targets on the airbase were to protect the interest of the Marines in Syria.

  3. okay so, i don’t agree with his imperialistic attitude towards Syria, bombing them because they don’t want a pipeline that will hurt Russia (their ally) economically isn’t something i enjoy or agree with, but let me remind you that Hilary’s solution to the whole Syria thing was to bomb Russia and Syria, and set up a no fly zone. Russia’s response to that was that they would go to war with us if she did do that, but odds are she were president not nearly as many people would be saying that world war three is going to happen i guarantee it. look i may not like trump but its not world war 3. its just american imperialism that you would get with any president. even Hilary.

  4. This article, states about Trump’s actions recently enacted upon Syria. It’s significance upon the world stage, and close to home. Not only on morals, and laws, but on the impact it may or may not have.


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