To the extent that domestic political considerations may constrain or embolden the Trump Administration's foreign policy, it is worth considering recent polling data on the Administration’s airstrikes.
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If the Trump administration is looking to escalate in Syria, it should consider working with Israel and Jordan in the country's south.
Rather than help curtail the slaughter and pave the way for serious peace talks, limited strikes risk re-empowering Assad while undermining the credibility of President Trump.
Those proposing an erosion of the U.N. Charter system in response to the Syrian airstrikes need to consider carefully whether the international legal system is strong enough to make nuanced use-of-force distinctions.
To those frustrated with the Syrian atrocities, the inability to legally justify an intervention under the traditional use of force construct is an unconscionable result. But we ignore the wisdom underlying the UN Charter at our own peril.
Is the Administration publicly acknowledging that the law has its limits and that other factors outweighed the constraints of international law in this instance?
For the Chinese government, no principle of international law is more sacrosanct than non-interference in the domestic affairs of other states. So why hasn't it yet condemned the U.S. missile strike on Syria?
Trump's airstrikes in Syria represent unilateral presidential war initiation, and the Founders would have unanimously held that the action was unconstitutional.
The Syria intervention is difficult to defend as consistent with international law. The United States has instead begun to make the case that the intervention bears moral legitimacy, using the same kinds of factor-based arguments we saw NATO member states use in Kosovo to defend the legitimacy of their intervention there.
The launch of cruise missiles against a Syrian airbase strikes me more as an attempt at therapy to salve our anguished conscience and feel like we are taking a stand than a serious move to change our policy in Syria for the better.