According to the White House itself, it advised the Russians of our intention to bomb the airfield "three hours in advance." (See: time.com/4730306/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-russia-missile-attack-bashar-assad/). Is there any wonder that the damage to the Syrian airfield caused by 59 Tomahawk missile was so little the Syrians are already using the facilities for take off and landings of its air force? (See: www.yahoo.com/news/syrian-governor-confirms-air-operating-again-195733861.html). So what gives? What gives is simple. The half of America that supports this military action proves it has no understanding how the United States conducts its "hard diplomacy" (ie., the use of military as a foreign policy alternative as opposed to "soft diplomacy" - the threat of military use through diplomatic negotiations. The embodiment of T.R.'s "Walk softly and carry a big stick policy"). What's worse? The political claims by the ignorant that this action proves Trump's "strength" while revealing Obama's weakness - all while ignoring the fact that the "red line" created by Obama was erased by a Congress unwilling to approve any military action by the then Commander In Chief. The difference here? Trump advised Russia before the attacks while notifying Congress after the attacks (See War Powers Act). As some may recall, I called out Obama for hiding behind the War Powers Act as I personally don't believe any president (including Trump) should wait for Congress to act militarily. What I do object to though is the applause for a president using military action only after warning our enemies first thereby rendering any such attacks virtually meaningless - except to excite some of the publics' base love of blowing things up and looking militarily superior. But how superior are we if the attacks result in no actual military strategic advantage (costing us at least $60 million in weapons)? (See: www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-how-much-it-will-cost-to-replace-the-tomahawks-used-in-syria-2017-04-07?siteid=rss&rss=1.
So next time some applaud how "great America is for using its military might", perhaps they should first think about what benefits our nation will obtain from its use. If it means nothing except political gain, then many should take their partisan blinders off and realize they are being played. I'm always for a strong military, but like President Bartlett in West Wing, I want real results, not just those that play on television.
As President George Washington once wrote; "War - An act of violence whose object is to constrain the enemy, to accomplish our will." Enough said. Have a great week!