Tobias J Song
On Thursday, April 6th, the United States Navy launched 59 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles to Syrian Airfield, and the missiles were fired from U.S. destroyers USS Porter and Ross, which were in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea at the time. They attacked the airfield because, on April 4th, chemical weapons were used to attack civilians in Syria. President Trump’s decision was far distinct from the weak former President Obama which all he did was aggravate the situation in the Middle East. No matter what the Americans wanted or not, the President of the United States is the strongest executioner in the world. Also, whether he wants to or not, he needs to play the role as the cop of the World because many countries in the World rely on him and are involved with the interest of the United States. Therefore, when the president of the united states says something to foreign countries, it should be based on well-established evidence or plan that he has.
In this context, people in Syrian believed the words from former President Obama: “Usage of the chemical weapon is the red line.” The result was horrendous. He did absolutely nothing for the people who were suffocated by the chemical weapons in Syria. This terrible decision triggered Syrians to flee their country in which started the refugee crisis in Europe If former President Obama did not want to intervene at the very first time, he should have said nothing about the issue. He should have said that Syrian’s problem is up to Syrian, not the problem of the United States. However, our former Democratic President uttered the red line. Then when Assad crossed the line, again, Obama did nothing. Personally, I think this was the worst foreign policy move in the term of the Obama administration. This not only weakened the credibility of the United States government, and along with the Ukraine situation, the diplomatic influence of the United States deteriorated. Compared to this horrid decision of former President Obama, President Trump has done what would be considered a significant win for the United States in the foreign policy.
It not only showed the fact that President Trump is the person who executes the plans he said during his campaign but also demonstrated the United States’ recovered military and diplomatic power to other potential enemies, especially North Korea. The timeframe design of this missile launch was also great. On April 6th evening (EST) when the missile attack happened, President Trump was in his Southern White House (Mar-a-Lago Resort) to host the meeting with President Xi from China. Assad government of Syria, North Korea, China, and Russia are kind of in the same boat in this messy situation of Syria. Therefore, by launching missiles to Syrian, President Trump sent a very direct message to President Xi regarding the nuclear threat from North Korea. Presumably, President Xi could hear the news during the dinner or right after the dinner with President Trump, and he was right in front of the person who ordered to attack the Chinese-kind-of-ally. The decision is now up to the president of China. Would he make a deal with the United States to get rid of North Korea in the Korean Peninsula, or would he let the United States use its military power against North Korea? Neither is good for the Chinese Communist Party because both make the party look weak against the United States.
Also, because of the military action in Syria, Russia is now limited to focus on the problems in Syria and Ukraine. They are standing along with the group that the United States attacked. This, of course, increases the tension between the armed groups of each country, and with the increased tension in Syria, Russia should spend more resources in Syria; it would increase the economic burden on them. The money they are spending on the military is already way too much. So assuming Russia cannot spend more money to operate military actions other than in Ukraine and Syria means they cannot participate in the events which may occur in the Korean Peninsula shortly. Therefore, by using just 59 missiles to the Syrian Airfield, Trump administration successfully remove the potential obstacle of operation in Korean Peninsula.
Trump made the decision, but his cabinet also did an excellent job. I would like to mention the names to give them credit for their accomplishment. First, the UN ambassador of the United States, Nikki Haley, established the great diplomatic base that Trump administration can use in the military intervention in Syria. She actively criticizes Russia and other pro-Assad government countries in the UN security council meeting and made the atmosphere favorable so that many countries can support United States’ actions. And with the major support from the most UN countries, the military project could be well finalized. Also, we now can hear many supportive comments from many leaders around the world. This was because of the efforts of Nikki Haley in the UN. The Secretary of Defense, James Mattis (the warrior monk), also did an A+ job in this project. He and his team designed the attack plan, and like his reputation, he successfully demonstrated the military power of the United States without any casualty. We will probably see these names more often in the news now because of the current circumstances. I hope the Trump administration can uphold their power in the future just like they did yesterday.