MINNEAPOLIS – The leader of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and former Assistant Secretary of State under Hillary Clinton says President Trump “did the right thing” in ordering airstrikes on a Syrian airbase.
“I think the action they took [Thursday] was the right action, and I think people who are opponents of President Trump should acknowledge that. I think he did the right thing,” said Dean Eric Schwartz of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
But Schwartz tempered that praise of the President’s actions with criticism of what he called “foreign policy incoherence.”
“Don’t get me wrong, I approve of Trump’s actions. But it came after weeks and months and months of President Trump saying that we have no interest in these issues,” Schwartz said, adding, “Hopefully we will move to a more predictable, coherent approach to national security issues.”
The public service veteran also acknowledged the need for the U.S. to continue its role in the region and conflict, including “engag[ing] the Russians in more serious negotiations.” To not do so, he argued, was to destroy credibility and an opportunity for the international community to take a stand against obvious atrocities.
“Now the challenge is to manage the process going forward and not just walk away, not just say ‘we did this, and now we’re going to go back to where we were.’ That would be a huge mistake,” Schwartz said.
Meantime, Rep. Tim Walz also weighed in on the military action. The Democratic congressman condemned the Assad Regime’s “use of chemical weapons in the strongest possible terms,” and said the missile strikes were “clearly warranted.”
However, Walz warned the Trump administration needs to consult with Congress before considering any further military action.
“Before the United States takes any further military action, especially if it may risk putting more of our men and women in uniform into harm’s way, the Congress must vote on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF),” Walz wrote, adding that “the Trump administration must communicate a holistic strategy to address the situation in the region to Congress, which it has yet to do.”