For President Trump, choosing targets and launching cruise missiles to punish the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons this week may have been a relatively clear-cut decision. The big problem is what comes next.

The military had been preparing options for a strike against President Bashar al-Assad since well before 2013, when the Syrian dictator killed more than 1,000 of his own people in a devastating nerve gas attack.

A chemical attack Tuesday blamed on the Assad regime killed scores of civilians and triggered a response from the Pentagon, which launched approximately 50 cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield late on Thursday.