April 07, 2017

Ilan Goldenberg and Nicholas Heras discuss Syria in The Washington Post

By Ilan Goldenberg and Nicholas Heras

In The Washington Post, CNAS Middle East Security Program experts Ilan Goldenberg and Nicholas Heras discuss President Donald Trump's decision to launch missile strikes against Syria. Please find an excerpt of the article below:


President Trump’s decision to launch missile strikes against Syria’s Al Shayrat airfield after a chemical weapons attack on civilians was an appropriate response to an act of unspeakable horror. Yet as analysts who have argued for greater U.S. military engagement to end the Syrian civil war, we find ourselves conflicted about the president’s decision: We fear there is simply no plan for what comes next.

To succeed beyond Thursday’s limited strikes, American leaders must decide on a clear set of objectives, a realistic desired final outcome, a theory of the case for how to get there and a solid understanding of the risks. We see three potential options for how the president could move forward.

The United States could pursue a limited strategy focused on one-off strikes in response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons. In that case, the strike on the air base from which last week’s sarin gas attacks were launched will probably be enough. President Bashar al-Assad and his generals will get the message and stop using those types of weapons.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.

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