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Jakarta Post

EDITORIAL: Give diplomacy a chance


    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, April 10, 2017   /  08:07 am
EDITORIAL: Give diplomacy a chance In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017. The United States blasted a Syrian air base with a barrage of cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (AP/U.S. Navy)

War is the continuation of politics by other means, Clausewitz once said. But that much-quoted aphorism certainly failed to predict United States President Donald Trump’s decision to launch a military strike to punish the decision of Syria’s President Bashar Assad to gas innocent civilians in Khan Sheikhoun, which killed 87 people, including 31 children. For the US, this may be a war that came out of the blue, which took place only two months after a new president was elected. There has never been any US diplomacy in the Syrian war. Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, a realist par excellence, realized the complexity of the situation in Syria and decided to forgo diplomacy, yet was also unwilling to use military options in the conflict. Despite his animosity toward Obama, Trump initially shared his predecessor’s conviction regarding the Syrian conflict. And by...