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Salman Rafi Sheikh

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What Comes After the US Missile Strike in Syria?


After experiencing a lot of hype after the missile strike, we have reached a point where the US seems to have nothing to offer to the people of Syria except support for the powers that have played a central role in fomenting the crisis in the first place. While the US president’s response to the so-called chemical attack did boost his domestic ratings and introduced a sense of conflict with Russia, he is yet to offer a practical strategy to wipe out real terrorist groups operating in Syria.

By now, we all know that Trump’s one strike, although initially over-praised as the beginning of a new era of US military engagement in the Middle East, was a lonely act and that such lonely acts achieve nothing but only escalate tension and allow the ruling elites to maintain a semblance of seriousness and firm resolve to fight the “evil” and restore the “good.” In geo-political terms, however, his resolve implies an absence of both a clear-cut strategy and refined political objectives.

No strategy!

Even in the words of former defense secretary William Cohen, “One strike doesn’t make a strategy”, and that the “US policy on Syria remains unclear”, arguing further that the US “strike does leave one with the impression that foreign policy in the Trump administration is not being made by carefully evaluating a situation, assessing various options, weighing costs and benefits, and choosing a path. Instead, it is a collection of reflexes responding instinctively to the crisis at hand.”
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