“What legal authority for the use of force will President Trump assert under domestic and international law? As a matter of domestic law, President Trump presumably relied on his Article II powers as Commander-in-Chief. The White House will likely file a report consistent with the War Powers Resolution tonight or tomorrow explaining the authority the President is asserting. Congress has not enacted an Authorization to Use Military Force against Syria,” CFR’s John B. Bellinger III writes for Lawfare.
“U.S. action could also trigger a broader confrontation. Russia will be understandably resistant to allegedly limited U.S. action, given how it was duped in 2011 by an international humanitarian intervention in Libya that ended with the overthrow of the government. For Iran, Syria is an indispensable part of its regional security architecture, and it seems willing to escalate indefinitely if the Assad regime is threatened. Russian and Iranian forces are intermingled with those of the regime, and both countries can retaliate against U.S. interests regionally and internationally,” Sam Heller writes for Foreign Affairs.
“There is no simple or easy option. This is nothing new. But not acting can be every bit as consequential as acting. For many in the Middle East and beyond, inaction in the face of chemical weapons use became the defining moment of the Obama presidency, raising fundamental questions about its credibility,” writes CFR’s President Richard N. Haass for the Financial Times.