The military aspects of the attack can be termed a limited success. It is now confirmed that only 23 cruise missiles hit the target. One reason for this could be that only certain areas were targeted where there were no Russians. Syria itself is a puny power, and the attack met with no resistance. But in future, the Russians could give anti-ship missiles to Syria to bolster their defense. In such a scenario a couple of anti-ship missiles fired and hitting the US destroyers could lead to over 1500 deaths. This would set the stage for a confrontation with Russia.

An escalation would then be a certainty. The threat by the US to launch more missile attacks show that Trump has for the moment, shelved the battle against the ISIS. This was expected as the President is an impetuous man with little experience.

Surrender to Hawks

There are many hawks led by Senator McCain and his ilk who have hailed the airstrike on the Syrian airfield. They have asked for more attacks, and now the US says that no peace is possible in Syria without the removal of Assad. With the Russians and Iranians backing Assad, the stage is set for a confrontation. War is an extension of the political aim. Keeping this in mind, the attack by Trump is, in reality, an attack on Russia.

Despite all talk, it is clear that the target is Russia and its support for Assad.

The attack

The attack itself did a lot of damage. But to completely degrade the airfield for operations, more attacks will be needed. The Syrian aircraft took off again in just a few hours after the assault to bomb the ISIS targets. In case the US were to follow up with further attacks, the chance of an escalation are bright.

There will be a reaction as per Newton's laws of motion. Every action has a reaction. The US forces in Syria will now be at greater risk. The attack without waiting for an independent confirmation as to who uses the gas weapons is reminiscent of the build-up to the invasion of Iraq and Vietnam. Similarly, at that time the US Presidents upped the ante leading to thousands of American young men being killed.

The objectives were not achieved.

Last comment

The attack has opened a Pandora's box, and Trump cannot back off, as it would be a loss of face. He has to shift the focus away from fighting the ISIS to Assad and Russia. In such a scenario if the US destroyers are hit a nuclear conflagration cannot be ruled out. Obama now appears a much saner president than Trump who is chasing glory as a "great president." He may well end up as the man who started the nuclear war.