US Tomahawk Missile Fired In To Syria

COMMENT: How Trump Changed The Game

Our defence analyst Christopher Lee takes a look at what President Trump's actions in Syria could mean for the rest of the world...

US Tomahawk Missile Fired In To Syria

President Trump called Prime Minister May and said 'This is what we have in mind'. Prime Minister May said 'Go for it'.

Defence Secretary Fallon took a call from Defense Secretary Mattis, who said he was putting 59 cruise missiles into the Homs air base.

Defence Secretary Fallon said 'Have a good one'.

President Putin sat by the phone. No one called.

This morning (Friday) it was all done. The newly-shaped National Security Council of Generals in Washington (McMasters, Dunford, Coats, Mattis) had a good day. 

Tomahawk Missiles To Syria

The President needed to respond to the gas attack on Kahan Sheikhoun. 

He needed to back away from Obama's policy of do nothing.

Mr Trump was, maybe still is, an ideal man in charge on the day for the generals.

Donald Trump suddenly had his top people asking 'Mr President, what do you want us to do?'

"Man alone eats hog", was how Willie McCobb used to say it when he ran the Mississippi Delta.

Having a big appetite for power fades when you're the only one at the hog roast. In crude terms, that's what has happened.

So two questions: who gets what out of the US response? What happens next?


The destructive power of that attack could destroy President Assad's palace and bunker in Damascus.

Assad knows now that Russia cannot be guaranteed to defend him. There were Russian anti-missile systems at the Homs air base.

No attempt was made to fire them. The US isn't afraid of Russia.

Tomahawk Fired From US Ship


They read Trump wrong. His policy on Syria has not changed - there are still no boots on the ground.

But his readiness to do something Obama would not do (one-shot game changing), they never anticipated.

Putin will need revenge. That can only be diplomatic and he has no options.


In the Middle East Iran is the most feared state after Israel.

Iran controls or backs policies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen and threatens others in Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Iran is the protective military cousin to Assad and it has failed on this one.

It has lost image among other countries.

It will try to freeze on bilateral agreements with the United States, but Trump is now a tried and tested arse-kicker.


Other NATO and European countries did not get the calls from Washington.

The past 24 hours showed Washington regards London as people on-side, trustworthy - Downing Street matters.

Mrs May did well to be the first into Trump's Washington. It rings Thatcher-Reagan times.

Donald Trump & Theresa May


We are to believe this was a one-off.

It happened because Assad or whoever in his bunker ordered a gas attack and the way the Western world reacted. 

This in itself compares ideologies.

A gas attack kills fewer people and causes less long-term wounds than a 500lb conventional bomb raid.

Yet in the West, still with images of World War One, gas is a far more sinister weapon.

It is illegal whereas a conventional warhead that can cause far greater catastrophe is polished and sold to anyone at public annual exhibitions.

Therefore, logically, America should be cruising every Syrian bomber airbase.... but warfare obeys made-up rules.

The world doesn't think about the gassed child who got a shot of atropine in time and will be back at school next week.

The world doesn't compare that poor wretch with the kid in the conventional and legal bombing raid with both legs blown off for the rest of his or her life and a demolished hospital that cannot save the rest of the family.

This is really the story of the past 24 hours.

We all got mad with Assad for using a wicked weapon whereas the bigger killer goes unpunished.

Trump has not got that far in the moralist's warfare manual... and there may be worse to come.

Trump wanted power and how to respond to the sarin attack was his first experience. It is hoped he did not like it.

Christopher Lee is the Forces Radio (BFBS) Defence Analyst. He can be heard every week on the only radio programme devoted to discussing matters of defence and security, Sitrep. To listen head here. To download, click here.