The world is agog at Donald Trump's head-snapping foreign policy reversal. He runs on a platform of America First. He renounces the role of world policeman. He excoriates parasitic foreigners that (I paraphrase) suck dry our precious bodily fluids — and these are allies! On April 4, Trump declared: "I don't want to be the president of the world. I'm the president of the United States. And from now on, it's going to be America First."
A week earlier, both his secretary of state and U.N. ambassador had said that the regime of Bashar Assad is a reality and that changing it is no longer an American priority.
Then last week, Assad drops chemical weapons on rebel-held territory and Trump launches 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria.
This was, in part, an emotional reaction to images of children dying of sarin poisoning. And, in part, seizing the opportunity to redeem Barack Obama's unenforced red line on chemical weapons.
Whatever the reason, moral or strategic, Trump acted. And effectively reset his entire foreign policy.
True, in and of itself, the raid will not decisively alter the course of Syria's civil war. Assad and his Iranian, Russian and Hezbollah co-combatants still have the upper hand — but no longer a free hand. After six years of U.S. passivity, there are limits now and America will enforce them.
Nor was the raid the beginning of a campaign for regime change. It was, however, a reassertion of an American stake in both the conduct and the outcome of the war. America's abdication is over. Be warned.
Moreover, the very swiftness of the response carried a message to the wider world. Obama is gone. No more elaborate forensic investigations. No agonized presidential handwringing over the moral dilemmas of a fallen world. It took Obama 10 months to decide what to do in Afghanistan. It took Trump 63 hours to make Assad pay for his chemical-weapons duplicity.Read the rest from Charles Krauthammer HERE.
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