New from colleague Michael Wahid Hanna and I for War on the Rocks about the balancing act of U.S. intervention in Syria:
Last week’s U.S. missile strike, as it was executed and messaged, seems to have been meant to discourage the regime from further chemical weapons use – not to commit America to an unlimited escalation, or to some vague and impracticable goal of regime change.
But Trump Administration officials have already muddied this message in the media, and there’s a serious risk that America’s allies and adversaries could get confused. There’s also a danger that some forward-leaning politicians and talking heads may retroactively cast this strike as something more expansive and get the United States in trouble.
Michael and I argue the strike may yet achieve a defined, positive good – but the United States is going to have to resist the impulse to turn it into something that it’s not.