The Gist

Shots Fired. What Now?

How does President Trump’s attack on a Syrian air base fit into U.S. policy toward the Assad regime?

USS Ross fires a tomahawk land attack missile on Friday.

Robert S. Price/U.S. Navy/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Listen to Episode 717 of Slate’s The Gist:

Subscribe in iTunes RSS feed ∙ DownloadPlay in another tab
Slate Plus
members: Get your ad-free podcast feed.


What does President Trump want to achieve with Thursday’s escalation of force against Syria? Fred Kaplan considers all the angles, including this one: Ordering a strike against a single Syrian air base was one of the lesser military actions President Trump could have approved. Kaplan writes the War Stories column for Slate.

In the Spiel, like a clueless boyfriend in a zip-up sweater, Trump went to Jared.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at

Join the discussion of this episode on Facebook.

Twitter: @slategist