President Donald Trump's decision to carry out a missile strike against Syria was a rash and poorly conceived decision that will not improve the situation with Syria. All this strike can do is worsen relations between the United States and other foreign countries.
On April 6, under Trump's orders, the U.S. military launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian government airbase, according to CNN. The strike was carried out in response to a chemical weapons attack that occurred on April 4.
It is suspected that the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical weapons attack, although the Syrian military has denied use of chemical weapons.
According to U.S. officials, the missile strike was launched at the airbase that housed the warplanes used to carry out the chemical attack.
The chemical attacks in Syria were indeed horrendous and should be addressed. However, the situation in Syria is precarious at best and must be addressed with care. Trump's decision to order the missile strike indicates a complete disregard for the gravity of the situation in Syria and was clearly a rash fight-or-flight response to something horrible.
First of all, Trump's decision goes against much of what he has said in the past regarding Syria, indicating that his decision was most likely a knee-jerk reaction that was made without the proper consideration.
According to NBC News, Trump has been a vocal critic of U.S. involvement in Syria since 2013, as evidenced by several tweets condemning U.S. intervention in the area.
"President Obama, do not attack Syria," Trump tweeted in September of 2013. "There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your 'powder' for another (and more important) day!"
In addition, throughout his campaign, Trump opposed military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. His current actions clearly indicate a shift in policy. However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denies this.
"There has been no change in that status," Tillerson said. "It does demonstrate that President Trump is willing to act when governments and actors cross the line ... and cross the line in the most heinous of ways."
Despite these assertions, there is no way that Syria could interpret this missile strike as anything other than an act of war. Al-Assad has already called the attack an "unjust and arrogant aggression," and accused the United States of trying to "dominate the world," according to The Washington Post.
Tillerson's statement indicates that Trump truly does not recognize the gravity of the actions he has taken. By making the decision to authorize the airstrike, Trump may have just started a war between the United States and Syria.
The missile strike may have also served to aggravate the relationship between Russia and the United States, which is obviously another downside.
According to CNN, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the missile strike an "aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law."
Such a statement indicates that if military action occurs between the United States and Syria, Russia will most likely be involved, which will only serve to worsen matters.
With all this in mind, it becomes clear that Trump's decision -- while probably made with the best intentions -- will not have the intended effect of bringing peace to Syria. It will only serve to create more conflict, and his actions should therefore be condemned.