Trump’s Foreign Policy steps into a different direction

James Ho , Staff Writer

On April 7, it was reported that a chemical gas attack ordered by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad resulted in at least 70 civilian deaths. Many were shocked when they heard news of civilian casualties in Syria. In wake of the attack, people expressed anger and outrage toward the Syrian government.

Leaders around the world condemned the Syrian government for the inhumane attack, with President Donald Trump authorizing the military to perform an airstrike on a Syrian military base. Many believe this response represented a sharp turn on promises made during Trump’s campaign for the White House, when he claimed that the country would take a step back from the Middle East.

“Previously looking at Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign, it seemed as though he was going to keep Syria and many of the issues in the Middle East as non-interventionist,” junior Raheel Tayub said.

Although Trump’s agenda has been domestically focused, with the main goals of improving the health care system and economy, the public’s eye has now shifted to his foreign policy after news of the airstrike became public.

“[Trump’s action] is a different type of foreign policy that has been unprecedented.” sophomore Prithvi Kinariwala said.

Throughout the country, reactions have been mixed. Some have praised Trump, complimenting his quick decision-making, as well as the message sent by the response.

“It is a good move for now, provided it doesn’t escalate [the situation] any further,” junior Max Read said. “The biggest problem is that we can’t really tell what Donald Trump’s approach is. So far, it seems more defiant and strident than Obama’s approach was.”

Yet at the same time, many condemned Trump’s rash actions. Reservations still remain about the attack and Trump’s foreign policy as a whole.

“Previous U.S. President Barack Obama did have an agenda extending humanitarian aid throughout the world,” Kinariwala said. “This can be seen as diminished with the new administration, and this needs to be addressed.”

The president has further stepped into international affairs in the Middle East when the U.S. military dropped the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) in Afghanistan with the intent to destroy complexes that were being used by ISIS.

“[It] ultimately was a good decision. When it dropped very far away, there were no civilian casualties and the U.S. took out an estimated 96 ISIS fighters,” Read said.

However, the international community has expressed concerns about using the MOAB. Diplomats worry about the potential dangers of the weapon being utilized without restraint.

“I think that it is good that Trump is being more proactive in the Middle East surrounding himself with military advisors,” Tayub said. “At the same time, the U.S. cannot sit around and let these issues aggravate [in the Middle East].”

Although the public may not know the future of Trump’s foreign policies, it seems many agree that he is following a different path than previously expected.