After about 8 week's in office as the most powerful man on the planet, Donald #trump has finally had the opportunity to take some swift and decisive action that evaded his predecessor, Obama.The question on everyone's mind now is how will the wider world react to this action?
The background in Syria
The bloody war in #Syria has been raging for years at an enormous cost to life. Assad's regime has cost Syria, by some estimates, about 500,000 in lost lives, approximately 6 million displaced within the country and 5 million forced to leave the country. This is from a prewar population of 22 million. Assad's use of #Chemical Weapons on his own citizens has been universally criticised but until now nothing has been done.
Obama famously advised Assad of the "red line" that had been drawn in 2013 when the tyrant used chemical gas on his own people in Aleppo and stated that it was " a game changer" and promptly let the incident go unpunished.
Obama has been quoted as saying that his reluctance to act with military force at that point was his greatest regret.
Trump steps in
In a highly emotive speech on Friday, the president talked about the "beautiful, innocent babies" that had been slain by Assad's chemical weapons and decided that military action was the only option. In reality, the firing of Tomahawk missiles at an airfield, after warning the Syrians that it was going to happen, was little more than political muscle flexing. But at least it was a show of strength. Assad has seen that he is dealing with a president that won't turn a blind eye and hope that the situation can be dealt with diplomatically. He is dealing with a decisive leader who will make difficult decisions quickly..
Trump's action can be seen as his first momentous decision of what has been a fairly chaotic and slapdash first 8 weeks in office. The repercussions can already be seen in the political arenas. Boris Johnson has cancelled his forthcoming trip to Moscow after discussions with the US proving, says Russia, that the UK has lost its' political bite. Instead, Johnson will head to Italy for a G7 meeting where he will try to convince Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Syria.
The decision also illustrates that as a hard-nosed businessman Trump is not afraid of upsetting people. He has been open in his desire to foster positive relations with Putin, a leader he clearly admires..
With regard to the airstrike, Putin had several options once Russia had been informed of Trump's intentions. The missiles could have been shot down but weren't, Putin could have cancelled next week's meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but he hasn't. Instead, Putin has chosen to sit back and wait. Diplomatically speaking there is talk that this could herald the start of a new relationship between the two countries.
Whatever the outcome there is no doubt that Trump's first act of aggression as Commander in Chief has ruffled feathers across the world.