The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take: Air Strikes in Syria Are Not Militarily Significant

On Tuesday’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer responded to news that both Syria and Iran knew in advance about the American air strikes in Syria. Informing Iran was a poor choice, Krauthammer said, but telling Syria made sense because the U.S. needed to know its planes would not be shot down during the bombing. He said the U.S. is unintentionally acting as Syrian President Bashar Assad’s air force, and are allowing Assad the capability to attack moderates in Syria with greater ease. “The point I was trying to make is that militarily this is not significant,” Krauthammer said. “This is a diplomatic stroke of sorts. It’s still a very narrow coalition. The fact is that on the ground they don’t have a strategy for defeating ISIS.” 

Krauthammer went on to explain that the Islamic State may have had forewarning of the American air strikes in Syria, but the Khorasan Group may have actually been surprised by the attack. Krauthammer based his analysis on the previously cagey statements made about the group by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. The Khorasan Group is a network of al Qaeda veterans who were plotting an attack on the U.S., as explained by a Pentagon spokesman in a clip shown on Special Report. Krauthammer praised the Obama administration for not announcing it’s intentions to strike the group, and said it would be “a nice little twist” if the Khorasan Group did not see the attack coming.  

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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