Saturday, April 08, 2017

Trump Just Made The World A More Dangerous Place

The picture above is of the Sharyat Air Field in Syria. This is the Syrian air base that Trump spent over $80 million to attack (59 missiles at $1.4 million each). Trump used the alleged attack on Syrian rebels using poison gas as the excuse for that attack. I suspect he just needed something to make himself look better (since his job approval is at a record low).

The question now is -- did the attack actually accomplish anything? The Trump administration says it did serious damage to the base and to Syrian war planes -- hurting the ability of Syria to launch more attacks using poison gas. There is no doubt that the base suffered serious damage -- 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles will do that. Far less likely is that any Syrian planes were destroyed, or that their ability to launch further attacks was hurt.

The Russians say only 6 Syrian planes were damaged -- the planes that were being repaired and could not fly. They are probably right about that. We know that the United States warned the Russians (who have planes at that base) that the attack would happen -- and since Russia is a strong ally of Syrian president Assad, it is very likely that they passed that warning on to the Syrians (allowing them to get their planes out before the attack).

But while the attack didn't do much to hurt Syria's ability to fly missions against the rebels, it really wasn't designed to do that. It was designed to make Trump look like a strong president (and improve his approval rating). We'll have to see if that was accomplished in polls to be done in the coming weeks.

One thing was accomplished though. Trump's attack made the world a more dangerous place. That's because the Russians retaliated by stopping the communications program between the American and Russian forces in the area -- designed to keep those forces from accidentally attacking each other or shooting down each others' planes. This was the program used to notify the Russians that the attack was coming.

This makes it much more likely that a Russian plane will be shot down by an American, or that an American plane will be shot down by a Russian. What happens if either of those possibilities occurs? That's a scary thought, since both countries have narcissistic presidents who can't admit they made a mistake and won't want to be seen as backing down. Could the egos of these two men engage both countries in a shooting war between them in Syria/Iraq -- which could then spread to other areas of the world?

Trump did accomplish one thing with his attack. He made the world a more dangerous place.

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