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Limited strike on Syria: Is it legal, or wise?




In this handout released by the U.S. Air Force, A U.S. Air Force B-1 Bomber separates from the boom pod after receiving fuel from an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker en route to strike chemical weapons targets in Syria April 13, 2018.
In this handout released by the U.S. Air Force, A U.S. Air Force B-1 Bomber separates from the boom pod after receiving fuel from an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker en route to strike chemical weapons targets in Syria April 13, 2018.
Handout/Getty Images

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On Friday, the U.S. led an airstrike against Syria in retaliation for President Bashar Assad’s chemical gas attack against his civilians.

The attack was aimed at three locations and was chosen over a more expansive and aggressive strategy. According the Wall Street Journal, President Trump was presented with three options, ranging from conservative to aggressive. Ultimately, the U.S., British and French coalition strike was a fairly limited one that was a mix of the two more conservative options. Some are lauding the president’s restrained response but others caution that a passive-aggressive strategy will create more problems in the Middle East.

Plus, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is saying that Trump circumvented the law by conducting the strike without the approval of Congress – but is his decision different from those of other presidents?

We debate the strategy and potential repercussions of Trump’s limited strike on Damascus.

Guests:

Clare Lopez, former CIA operations officer for 20 years, working domestically as well as in the former Soviet Union and the Balkans; Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy, a DC-based national security think tank; she tweets @ClareMLopez

Brian Katulis, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, he focuses on U.S. national security strategy and counterterrorism policy; he tweets @Katulis