04-14-2017, 09:51 AM
Of course Trump has no such authority to pass on to the military, neither constitutional, nor even under the War Powers Act. He is doing brazenly what his predecessors have been doing using a modicum of pretext or other excuses. The main/only saving grace behind this kind of intervention is that it is apparently Jacksonian in nature (i.e., intended to be short-term, big show of strength), and not all-stops out long war, maximum troops invading and dying, empire-building that the neocons prefer. As far as meddling goes, call it a form of harm reduction, compared to the 150,000 troops on the ground, full invasion scenario we would be engulfed in under a President Hillary.
It is kind of the opposite of the posture of previous administrations, that would talk the limited war talk but deliver long war and ongoing quagmires everywhere. Trump is instead letting his hawks talk the full war, regime change talk while delivering short-war, shock and awe moments of military action to keep the war party happy. He'll talk the remove-Assad talk, but not do the full invasion it would take to do it, etc. By doing so early in his term, he can bluff about performing expanded actions later, and will be believed (since he is known to have pulled the trigger previously), giving him a better position when negotiating.
For the same reason, the full Monty interventionists will not be able to paint him as weak if Trump later declines to go farther than commit to such short war, in and out operations. The question is, will Trump stop here, or truly capitulate to the full regime change empire agenda of the neocons?