The results of the missile strikes launched by the US Navy against the Shayrat base in the Syrian province of Homs turned out to be politically unconvincing. This position is getting increasingly popular among the leading Middle East analysts and experts, and may soon be prevailing in the US itself. It took most journalists less than 24 hours after the initial strike to start questioning Trump’s inconsistent approach to the Syrian crisis.
As it’s been noted by the American Conservative, it is foolish to use military action to try to “send a message” to other government. For starters, there can be absolutely no certainty that such a “message” got through, since in the Middle East it is being viewed in a completely different light than American hawks do. Additionally, there’s been a number of voices claiming that military aggression is a crude, imprecise, and ineffective way to communicate with other states. If one is launching an illegal attack against government does not necessarily mean that he’s is going to be taken seriously.
The idea that a missile attack on the Syrian airbase may in some way reinforce international norms does not make much sense either. One has to be seriously delusional to believe that one’s violation of law may in some way contribute to the matter of upholding the international legal system.
Even a former CIA operative and the acting intelligence analyst Robert Baer has confined to the CNN the notion that Washington’s intelligence community is awaiting bad consequences of Trump’s gamble in Syria.
The Huffington Post has reported one instance of a civil protest turning violent in Florida, while activists have been gathering in Jacksonville, New York City, Philadelphia, Newark, Chicago, Detroit, Boston and other cities to protest against the US attack on Syria.
A lot of comments has recently been made about the “effectiveness” of American weapons, and the Tomahawk missile systems in particular. After all, out of 59 missiles fired no more than 23 successfully reached their designated target in Syria. What’s even more curious is that even though the Pentagon tried to convince the world that those missiles have “delivered a crushing blow,” nevertheless, no proof has been presented to back up this claim so far. It would seem only logical that if anything close to “an extensive amount of damage” was inflicted upon the Shayrat Airbase, the Syrian Air Force wouldn’t be able to use in on the next day.
It curious that America’s weapon of choice – the Tomahawk missile system doesn’t even come close to the effectiveness of Russia’s Kalibr missiles, with all of 26 missiles that Russia had previously fired against terrorist forces in Syria successfully traveling twelve hundred miles to strike their designated targets.
Having a similar capability would be very beneficial for the Trump administration and it seems that its fully aware of this fact, as a number of American media sources and politicians are now claiming that it keeps maintaining a secret contact with Moscow, using the visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Moscow to hold secret talks on the possibility of acquiring Russian missiles to replace the failed Tomahawks.
No matter how surprising those allegations may sound, one cannot call them unfounded as Washington is still buying Russia’s RD-180 rocket engines in spite of the rigid sanctions regime it introduced against Moscow! And besides, after all, there’s been a number of reports that American pilots are starting to use Russia’s military planes.
If this trend continues, then we can soon we witness the Pentagon recruiting Russia’s citizens for the sake of “protecting Trump”. After all, Germany is already searching for Russian-speaking experts that could provide military training to the US military personnel, which was first announced last March by the recruitment agency that goes under the name of Optronic.
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”