April 12, 2018 | Quoted by Michael Graham - CBS News

Commentary: Trump’s Syria quandary

Just a week ago, the headlines about President Trump and Syria all contained the word “withdraw.”  The president's directive to the U.S. military was to find a way out — sooner rather than later.

So what is the Trump Doctrine? 

“There isn't one” says Reuel Marc Gerecht, senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. “To have a doctrine implies a certain consistency that, after a year of the Trump presidency, has yet to be in evidence.”  Gerecht, who believes Mr. Trump's talk of withdrawal and America's lack of response to recent small-scale chemical attacks against civilians “contributed to hubris on the Syria-Iranian side,” says that even another massive U.S. missile attack wouldn't mark a change in our policy. He observes, “Trump's real contradiction is the conflict between his anti-Iran, anti-Assad rhetoric versus his willingness to abandon Syria to the Assad-Iran-Russia axis.”

But as foreign policy analyst Thomas Joscelyn said over the weekend, “If there's not a U.S.-led response in this case, there won't be any response.” Paul's argument is also not very satisfying to Americans seeing these horrific images on their TV screens at home, who may harbor the same fears Joscelyn does.

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