by Erin Rodewald // April 12, 2017
(This article originally appeared in The Philos Project)
If the days of Syria’s brutal dictator are numbered – and following last week’s airstrikes by the United States, the whispers have returned – who might be the alternative leader after six years of bloodshed and destruction? It is in the interest of the U.S. to identify and influence Assad’s successor sooner rather than later.
Last week’s strike on the Shayrat Airbase in Syria by American forces was applauded by many international observers as long overdue and morally appropriate. President Donald Trump ordered the targeted military strike on the airfield from which President Bashar al-Assad had launched a deadly chemical weapon attack that killed dozens of his own people.
In remarks following the strike on April 6, Trump seemed to signal a shift in what many believed would be a solid, non-interventionist foreign policy agenda: “Tonight, I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.”