BigNews.Biz - Apr 16,2017 - TIME: U.S. Strikes in Syria Are a Turning Point for the World
Risch is the Chairman of the Middle East Subcommittee on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
President Trump authorized the launch of roughly five dozen Tomahawk missiles at an air base in Syria; the same base that supported an atrocious chemical weapons attack against innocent civilians and children just days prior. With this action, President Trump reestablished a red line on the use of chemical weapons. A red line that had been dangerously absent since August 2013 when President Obama issued one and then refused to enforce it.††
This attack has done more than redraw an important boundary on the use of weapons of mass destruction; it has also begun to restore U.S. leadership and credibility around the world. Leaders from North Korea to Iran to Russia and others took immediate notice. Simultaneously, many U.S. allies were relieved. For this was the moment the United States reaffirmed we will not tolerate violations of international norms nor evil acts condemned by the world. President Trump proved the United States will push back when our national security is threatened and, once again, will back up its rhetoric with action when necessary. †
When the Syrian Civil War started, many in the United States believed involvement was not in Americaís best interests. Over the years, Assad brutalized his own people, particularly women and children.† Sadly, this recent attack was a shameful reminder of Assadís true nature. In the process, the world has seen a civil war change into an international conflict where terrorists took over much of Syria, many of whom have returned to the United States and other countries to conduct attacks. The ongoing conflict has destabilized much of the region including important allies like Jordan and Turkey, and has allowed Iran to increase its influence on Israelís border. These issues have created a refugee crisis felt across the United States and Europe as tens of thousands seek to enter our countries.
There are no ideal solutions, but one fact has become clear, as this conflict continues we will have fewer options and more consequences for the United States, our interests, and our allies. The United States must help lead this tragic situation to a conclusion. If Syria continues down the path of civil war and chaos, the Assad regime will continue to retake territory. As this instability continues, Assad will steadily eliminate the opposition, and the West will see the reestablishment of an anti-U.S. and Israel crescent stretching from Tehran to Israelís border. The United States is the only country that can prevent that outcome.
The international community has been starving for leadership in Syria. The airstrikes of April 6 were a good first step, but the United States must go further to push back against Assad and his allies, Russia and Iran.† This will require a more comprehensive strategy toward Syria. ††
There are reports of additional chemical weapons remaining in Syria. The same weapons Assad and the Russians