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Here's why Trump's strike on Syria is a message to China that makes the world safer

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By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
4/7/2017 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Trump needs China's help with North Korea.

President Trump has moved with swift decisiveness, ordering a measured strike on Syria. Overnight, 59 cruise missiles hit the base that Bashir al-Assad used to stage a chemical weapons attack against civilians. The strike sends a message to the Assad regime and the world, that Trump will use force.

'A man-of-war makes the best ambassador.' -Oliver Cromwell

'A man-of-war makes the best ambassador.' -Oliver Cromwell

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
4/7/2017 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Trump, Syria, North Korea, China, world, peace, Russia, safety


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- The U.S. Navy struck hard at the Syrian airbase used by the Assad regime to stage a chemical weapons attack against civilians. The attack, launched yesterday under cover of darkness, destroyed the base including nine fighter jets. Seven people were reported killed.

The attack is a measured response, with the missiles being fired at distinct military targets with a great degree of accuracy. The attacks were planned in such a way as not to involve U.S. allies or to endanger civilian lives.


The U.S. also notified the Russians of the pending attack, allowing them time to evacuate personnel from the base. It is likely the Russians also warned Syria the attack was coming.

Despite the notice, neither Russia nor Syria could stop it.

The attack was launched from a pair of ships in the Mediterranean. The ships fired 59 missiles in all. Between the two ships, there remain at least a hundred additional missiles that can still be fired.

The missiles were Tomahawk cruise missiles which can skim the waves and hug the ground on their way to their targets. The missiles use maps for guidance and images of their targets for precision. They often fly an erratic course to baffle radar tracking and to confuse the enemy of their origin and their target.

Following the attack, some civilians in Syria cheered. Many see the strike as an attack against the regime of Bashir al-Assad, which was precisely its intent.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., Congress has reminded the president that he needs approval from them before starting a war. However, Trump's action is permissible under post 9/11 laws which permit the president to order strikes under certain circumstances.

The Russians have condemned the attack and suspended a military cooperation agreement in retaliation. The agreement ensures the air forces of both sides communicate to avoid accidental shoot downs of one another's aircraft. Without that agreement, accidents become more likely.

Is the world about to blunder to war?

While it's possible, it is still unlikely. The attack ordered by President Trump was expertly calculated to avoid casualties. While it is intended to diminish and embarrass the regime of Bashir al-Assad, there is little he can do about it. The Russians also appreciated their advance warning which saved their personnel from harm.

Neither Russia nor the U.S. wants conflict. Trump's payoff is that the attack serves multiple ends. It degrades Syrian chemical weapon capability, it allows him to demonstrate his decisive nature, and it shows he is willing to use force. This will strengthen his position at the bargaining table, particularly as he meets with Chinese President, Xi Jinping.

Trump and Jinping must grapple with the question of North Korea. The possibility of preemptive, unilateral U.S. action to destroy North Korea's nuclear weapon capability is significant. The strike on Syria should remove any doubt in Jinping's mind that Trump would order such an attack. This motivates China to help find a peaceful solution to the brewing crisis in North Korea.

Trump's attack on Syria isn't so much a warning to Assad. It's a fortuitously-timed message to China and North Korea that contrary to mainstream thought, makes the world safer.

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