Trump’s Middle East Interventions and Their Implications Nicholas Warner Anna Sabalone AP English Literature Spring 2017 Warner 1
Ever since Bill Clinton's presidency a modern president seems to always fire off missiles in the beginning of his presidency. We have done this with Kosovo, Waziristan, and Libya. This trend for presidents had still continued with newly elected Donald Trump as he sent fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles against a air base in Syria on April 6th. This air base being located in the Homs province. He did this after learning on April 4th that President Assad of Syria killed or sickened hundreds of people in a chemical attack on a nearby rebel occupied town. He is sticking to a tradition started by Former President Bill Clinton, where whenever a country gains access or gains weapons of mass destruction (WMD), we take action and stop them. Throughout the 1990s, cruise missile strikes were a norm on Iraqi WMD facilities. These strikes did little to alter the course Saddam Hussein was already on and only intensified the conflict. Hopefully with Trump, this will act as a means to ending human rights violations and the killing of innocent people in the Middle East. According to Trump the strike is aimed at ending “the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria” 1 . I believe his strike in Syria was necessary as it helps other countries see that we are going to put our foot down and not let any aggressive action or violation of human rights quietly go unnoticed. A cruise missile strike also carries little risk for the Trump administration, as it doesn’t risk an American pilot’s life, or boots on the ground. He was inspired to fight back in Syria due to images he saw online and on TV during Assad’s recent chemical attack. While this is great, back in 2013 when Assad launched sarin (an illegal chemical) on civilians, he advised Former President Obama on Twitter “Do not attack Syria…” 2 . Trump needs to have a set agenda or platform and stick to it, he changes his stances too much. I do side with his current stance as of late though. Trump’s reason for changing his stances so much is, “I’m 1 Coll, Steve. "Trump's Confusing Strike on Syria." The New Yorker . The New Yorker, 17 Apr. 2017. Web. 14 May 2017. 2 From the same source as footnote 1 Warner 2
very capable of changing to anything I want to change to” 3 . While this may be good in certain situations, I believe it is a disadvantage in Syria as he seems to have intervened without a clear plan. Trump is getting involved with Syria because he knows that every time Assad uses banned chemical weapons, it increases the likelihood that another dictator uses them. However, if Trump is recognizing the disasters going on in the Syrian Civil War, he should also begin to recognize Syrians as legitimate refugees. If he continues to bomb Assad’s forces and continue military intervention in Syria, he will be going down the path his campaign warned against. We would be
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