Donald Trump has employed military force on a Syrian airbase, the villain in using chemical warfare on civilians, including children and babies, in the midst of the Syrian Civil War, which has raged for six years now, with Russia being the major ally of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
In so doing, Trump has done something considered appropriate, but the question is what effect it will have on the Syrian Civil War, on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, as well as our other rivals in the world, including China, North Korea, and Iran.
The irony of Trump taking action as the Chinese President is visiting him in Palm Beach, Florida, is noticed, as Trump wants and expects Chinese help to deal with Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s ruthless dictator, who continues to lob missiles, and is seen as a growing nuclear threat.
One can expect rapid action by Trump on North Korea after the summit with China ends this weekend.
So we have another President who is able to use foreign policy and national security as an area that may be part of his legacy, and might also boost his horrific public opinion polling ratings.
But we have to wonder whether Trump will be measured in his response, as he seems to be at the moment on Syria, or will end up enmeshing us in massive troop commitments in the Middle East and in the Korean peninsula in endless wars with massive loss of life and treasure.
Ironically, this military action occurred precisely on the centennial anniversary of Congress declaring war on Germany, Austria Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks in the First World War, the beginning of America’s full engagement with the world. The past century has seen America engaged in seven major wars and innumerable military engagements short of full scale war.
So one has to wonder how the American people will react to new military adventures, that might even require the beginning of a military draft, for the first time since 1973.