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President Trump addresses the nation on April 13, 2018, as strikes were under way in Syria. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. coalition strikes in Syria were a direct but limited response to the violation of international norms opposing chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction. They were narrow in focus — against three targets associated with chemical weapons — and essentially punitive in nature. Whether they will achieve a deterrent effect will only be known with time.

Be smart: Just as interesting is what the strikes were not. They were not intended to unseat the Assad regime or directly protect the Syrian people. Although President Trump expressed his disappointment with Russian and Iranian support for Assad, the strikes took care not to engage them directly.

What's next: There is no reason to expect further military action absent additional use of chemical weapons by Assad. The president did not say how long U.S. forces might remain in Syria but reiterated his desire to bring home those troops. Ultimately, the strikes shed little new light on the future of U.S. policy toward Syria.

Richard Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of “A World in Disarray.”

Go deeper

44 mins ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

Senate Democrats unveil new income tax for billionaires

Sen. Ron Wyden. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday released a billionaires' tax proposal, designed to help support President Biden's social spending and climate change legislation.

Why it matters: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the Billionaires Income Tax would raise "hundreds of billions of dollars" and would affect approximately 700 taxpayers who have more than $1 billion in assets or incomes of over $100 million a year.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.