The United States carried out its first airstrike against a foreign entity Thursday. President Joe Biden ordered missile attacks against Iranian-backed militants in the eastern part of Syria. It is an apparent response to rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq on February 15th, 2021. The hope is that this response by the U.S. will lower the risk of escalation.
Nonetheless, it is catching some analysts by surprise. As a candidate, Biden had promised that he would “use military power responsibly and as a last resort,” tweeting on February 7, 2020 that, “we will not go back to forever wars in the Middle East.”