by Kevin Meagher
It’s not often an international leader gets to achieve their domestic political goals while making a bold foreign policy move.
But this is what Donald Trump has just managed.
In bombing the Syrian airstrip that was used to launch what seems to have been a chemical attack by Assad’s forces on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, earlier this week, killing at least 80 people, Trump has achieved three things.
First, he compares favourably with Barrack Obama, who dithered and backed down from a response to Assad’s sarin attack on east Damascus in 2013, outplayed at the time by Putin who offered to broker a deal whereby the regime would surrender its chemical and biological weapons.
Trump, the inveterate dealmaker, is clearly not prepared to give Assad wiggle-room. Especially as he plainly lied about dismantling his arsenal.
Second, he has immediately wrong-footed his home-grown critics who question his elliptical relationship with Vladimir Putin.