The Trump administration’s cruise missile strikes against Syria were targeted to impose a cost for the Assad regime’s chemical weapons attack against its own citizens and aimed at shaping the Syrian government’s future actions. But the attack opens the door to more risks—and the White House needs a sharp focus on preventing a wider escalation while continuing the progress in the fight against the Islamic State along with efforts to deter Iran destabilizing actions in the region.
One vital next step for the United States is to leverage cooperation with partners in the region to protect U.S. troops and prevent a wider escalation that could destabilize and undercut the anti-Islamic State campaign.
The above excerpt was originally published in Foreign Policy.
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