The New York Times reports that Secretary of Defense James Mattis called for seeking congressional approval before launching an attack in Syria last week because there were genuine concerns that it would ignite a wider conflict.
That's good to know, but it also isn't.
The Trump regime obviously did not seek congressional approval and it appears that one reason why they did not is because Trump wanted to quickly substantiate his rage-tweets with actual force.
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis urged President Trump to get congressional approval before the United States launched airstrikes against Syria last week, but was overruled by Mr. Trump, who wanted a rapid and dramatic response, military and administration officials said.
Mr. Trump, the officials said, wanted to be seen as backing up a series of bellicose tweets with action, but was warned that an overly aggressive response risked igniting a wider war with Russia.
Friday night’s limited strikes on three targets, which lasted under two minutes, were the compromise.
The Times reports that National Security Adviser John Bolton took Trump's side in calling for more aggressive action, of course, and last week's very limited attack was the compromise between a wider conflict and seeking congressional approval.
We're very close to the point of Trump's morning Twitter tantrums causing an actual war. He could eventually say something he can't back down from.
In fact, some officials would tell you he already has.
Mr. Trump’s drumbeat of threats last week of a sharp response to the suspected gas attacks all but guaranteed that the United States military would strike Syria, according to two Defense Department officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Mattis may have been able hold John Bolton back assuming these reports are true, but who knows what will happen next time?