ISW Analysts React to the U.S.'s Anti-Assad Strike in Syria

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“There can be no future for Assad and his regime in Syria. It is good that the Trump Administration has recognized that the regime must go in order for negotiated settlement to occur. Demonstrating American will to use military force is a necessary first step. President Trump still needs a larger strategy to achieve the outcomes that US national security and humanity require.
- Jennifer Cafarella
“Immediate strikes do not preclude a more robust strategy. In fact, they open the door to it.” 
- Jennifer Cafarella
“We will change everyone’s calculus, and that starts a clock. Our adversaries and enemies will recalculate. The U.S. must move out smartly to achieve its strategic objectives in Syria, which include but go beyond preventing Assad from murdering his own people.
- Jennifer Cafarella
“Assad has reminded the U.S. and the world that his military campaign – and that of his external backers - is a crime against humanity.  President Trump is upholding America’s commitment to international law, as he should.”  
- Jennifer Cafarella
“Assad could not survive, let alone conduct systematic atrocities such as his repeated use of chemical weapons and other crimes against humanity, without the active support of Russia and Iran.  Assad will not stop until they withdraw their unconditional support for his brutality.” 
-Genevieve Casagrande
Deterrence is a persistent condition, not a one hour strike package. President Trump has demonstrated his intent and capability to use American force if necessary. He must sustain pressure against Assad in order to set conditions to achieve vital US national security interests in Syria.”
-Christopher Kozak
“The Trump Administration has begun to re-establish the credibility of an American military response, essential to creating conditions for a durable negotiated settlement.”
-Christopher Kozak
Jennifer Cafarella is the Lead Intelligence Planner at ISW

Genevieve Casagrande is a Syria Analyst at ISW

Christopher Kozak is a Syria Analyst at ISW

The Institute for the Study of War and the Critical Threats Project teams recently released “America’s Way Ahead in Syria,” which details the flaws in the current U.S. approach in Iraq and Syria and proposes the first phase of a strategic reset in the Middle East.