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Is President Trump leading America into World War III, or is he just brilliant at ‘4-D Chess?’

Robert Naylor, Contributing Writer

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If the title of this article has freaked you out, I apologize. But in truth, America’s Cold War fears may have finally resurfaced. In response to a chemical strike against the Syrian people, President Donald Trump ordered the destruction of a Bashar al-Assad-controlled airbase through the deployment of 59 Tomahawk missiles. I’ve inferred from the CNN interview with Syrian refugee Kassem Eid that the order was well-received by the Syrian people, but Russia seems much more critical of this military aggression.

In statements made by the Kremlin, not only has the strike been deemed as an “act of aggression against a sovereign state,” but it has also “dealt a serious blow to Russia-U.S. relations.” While the Kremlin’s comments are certainly disdainful toward Trump’s actions, I am more confident that this will do nothing in terms of long-term relations between the United States and Russia. Trump ordered the attack in response to Assad’s violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and refusal of advice from the U.N. Security Council. The final decision to strike came as a result of Assad’s refusal to change his mindset regarding the deployment of chemical weapons.

Instead of doing nothing like his predecessor, Trump wanted to send a message to Assad. Does this mean that we are about to enter a war in Syria? Hopefully not, but I believe this is a decision that should ultimately be made by Congress. I want nothing more than to stabilize the Middle East so that refugees can return to a safe home. I do not believe a conflict with Russia would do anything to alleviate this international problem, and therefore I have high hopes for the upcoming meetings of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Russian government. Only if we cooperate with the Russians in their efforts to stabilize Syria do I believe that we will have quick and unilateral success.

Furthermore, I would like to address why I proposed the term “4-D chess.” When Democrats constantly barraged Trump with the belief that he has failed to pay any income tax during the campaign, somehow a 2005 tax return showing that Trump paid roughly $38 million in taxes was unveiled by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Not only did the segment make Trump look good, but it was also a calculated time-bomb to humiliate anyone who attacked him prior to its unveiling. How does this apply to my current narrative? Trump ordered the Syrian missile strike just hours prior to his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

How is this possibly a good “chess” move by Trump then? Look no further than the aggression seen by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. While an attack performed by the United States on North Korea would put China in a tough position, it can be inferred that the Syrian missile strike was not only an effort to restore humanitarian rights to the Syrian people, but also to let China be aware that we will not respond passively to North Korean threats.

If the North Koreans do end up throwing the first punch, it is up to China to determine whether or not they will choose to side with the aggressors, or the international guardians of democracy. I believe this is among many reasons as to why the strike was ordered: to show that the United States is not afraid to pull punches as the past two administrations have been.

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The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University
Is President Trump leading America into World War III, or is he just brilliant at ‘4-D Chess?’