Former State Department official discusses impact of U.S. missile strike in Syria

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SALT LAKE CITY -- Firing 59 missiles into a Syrian airbase, killing at least 7 and injuring several others, is the first step to starting a war, according to Kael Weston, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a top official in the U.S. State Department.

He says it should really put things into perspective for President Donald Trump.

“The day after launching 59 cruise missiles and giving the order he wakes up realizing, you know, the world is less about Nordstrom and is more about war and peace and national security,” Weston said.

Weston said Trump wanted to do what President Obama did not, and that’s send a real warning after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used banned chemical weapons to kill his own people.

“Ironically I think if we had a President Hillary Clinton she would have done the same thing,” Weston said.

Weston believes the next big decision will come from Syria.

“Best case scenario is that Bashar al-Assad will no longer use chemical weapons to kill his own people,” Weston said.

However, if Syria continues to use chemical weapons then it’s up to Trump to decide how far he wants to go.

“Worst case scenario is this is the beginning of a bunch of quicksand we find ourselves sinking into as a nation, and it becomes a regime change,” Weston said.

Weston lived through a regime changed in Iraq. He said it can take several years and exhaust a tremendous amount of U.S. resources, including the lives of American soldiers.

“Remember what Secretary Colin Powell said, ‘If you break something at the Pottery Barn you own it,’ and I think that is one of the lessons in Iraq, be careful what you ask for,” Weston said.

Then there is the X-factor in all of this, Russia and their leader Vladimir Putin, who is on the record against the air strike.

“I can’t foresee the U.S. would be in a hot war with Russia anytime soon,” Weston said.

Weston did say when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson goes to Russia next week, this issue will definitely be bumped to the top of the agenda.

Weston is from Utah and now teaches in the Westminster Honors College. He is also the author of the book, “The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan.”