The Assad regime has good reason to fret the use of U.S. force: Sending cruise missiles through the windows of command and control and intelligence facilities and cratering runways would damage its ability to battle the rebels.
New START turned out to be a very bad deal for the U.S. In this treaty, President Obama gave away U.S. leverage on missile defense and strategic weapons. The U.S. has barely anything left to negotiate on tactical nuclear weapons where Russia has a dramatic advantage. The ISAB incorrectly calls them “nonstrategic,” but in reality, any use of nuclear weapons on the battlefield will have strategic consequences.