Trump did an extraordinarily stupid and reckless thing this week: he tweeted that the United States was about to launch a missile strike on Syrian military assets.
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
Trump has said on numerous occasions that we shouldn't tell our enemies what our plans are but, according to the Washington Post, there is no plan or at least there was no plan when Trump tweeted that.
The Post reports that the Pentagon saw Trump's tweets and chose to ignore it.
In a White House known for chaos, the process of developing the U.S. response to the Syrian government’s alleged latest chemical attack was proceeding with uncharacteristic deliberation, including several national security briefings for President Trump.
But then Wednesday morning, Trump upended it all with a tweet — warning Russia, the Syrian government’s backer, to “get ready” because American missiles “will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ ”
White House advisers were surprised by the missive and found it “alarming” and “distracting,” in the words of one senior official. They quickly regrouped and, together with Pentagon brass, continued readying Syria options for Trump as if nothing had happened.
This may be amusing but, on the other hand, maybe it isn't.
I don't think we should normalize the Pentagon ignoring what the president says, but I'm not sure what other choice they have when the Mad King is rage-tweeting from the toilet.
Government officials who spoke to Reuters off the record say Syria has responded to Trump's missile tweet by repositioning their assets, making it more difficult for the military to attack if the order is formally given, not tweeted.
Syria’s attempt to shelter aircraft, perhaps by locating them alongside Russian military hardware that Washington might be reluctant to strike, could limit damage that the United States and its allies might be able to inflict on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military.
A similar assessment regarding Syria’s actions was delivered by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, which said pro-Syrian government forces were emptying main airports and military air bases.
The National Security Council is reportedly meeting at some point today when a decision on what to do in Syria will be reached.