UPDATE, APRIL 8: David Dunn of the University of Birmingham offers further insight into the Trump Administration’s decision to strike, in an interview with BBC Three Counties Radio:
Listen to Discussion
First of all, it’s an emotional response to the deaths of innocent babies. It’s an attempt to establish credibility after the Obama Administration’s loss of it when red lines were crossed. It’s an attempt to differentiate himself from President Obama administration’s and its reluctance to use force.
But it’s also about signalling. It’s signalling to Russia, to Syria, and also to China over North Korea and North Korea itself over its missile and nuclear tests.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: I have spoken with radio outlets throughout Friday about the first US airstrikes against an Assad regime target inside Syria, the Shayrat airbase in Homs Province from which a chemical attack was launched on Tuesday.
The discussions review how the Trump Administration — with the Pentagon and National Security Council in the lead — suddenly shifted from acceptance of President Assad in power last weekend to its show of force: “The adults have taken control from the children in the foreign and military policy playground.” There’s consideration of the Russian response so far.
The interviews then evaluate what might happen next. The critical point for now: having been shown that the US will not accept any more chemical attacks, will the Assad regime persist with conventional bombing of opposition areas, including civilian sites? Will the Russians? And if so, does the US launch another aerial attack?
Also keep an ear out for an assessment of the domestic impacts of Trump’s actions, including the surprise of the alt-right, and the stinger at the end of one interview: “There’s no consistency with Trump. There’s no detailed logic. It’s like the guy in the pub who is asked, ‘What are you going to do now?’ It just so happens that this guy is the President of the United States.”