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With that conviction, Trump took military action Thursday night, ordering retaliatory missile attacks on a Syrian air base.Trump's wariness on Syria had been like President Barack Obama's: He said repeatedly, over the past six years and during the campaign, that he opposed more headlong U.S. military actions in quests that might be morally urgent but strategically fuzzy. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) had blasted Obama's reluctance to intervene, but not Trump.Given that Trump's view of Syria was so similar to Obama's, his attempt to blame the latest chemical attack there on his predecessor's alleged weakness was especially dubious. The irony is that Trump faces the same bad military options for pressing the attack in western Syria beyond this initial strike that Obama did. U.S. military commanders have focused on the battle against the Islamic State in eastern Syria. The World War I centennial is especially haunting as we think about the choices Trump still faces in Syria.Trump might study the example of Harry S. Truman, another president who came to office radically unprepared for the global responsibilities he faced.
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