The overnight missile attack on Shayrat air base near Homs was the latest instance of the Executive Branch taking military action without Congressional approval. Senator Rand Paul has taken the lead in condemning this action, on the grounds that Article I, Section VIII of the US Constitution clearly gives Congress the sole authority to declare war. As Senator Paul noted, the United States was not attacked by Syria.
Furthermore, while the satellite imagery clearly showed that the bombing of the Idlib town coincided with the unleashing of some form of chemical gas, there has been no conclusive investigation, and the Russian narrative–that the site held rebel chemical weapons–is plausible, if not yet confirmed.
The attack took place in the midst of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, where one of the hot topics is what to do about North Korea's continuing long-range missile tests and work on completing a nuclear warhead. Clearly there was an implicit message to both North Korea and Iran in the attack.
Russia's immediate response, in addition to condemning the strikes, was to withdraw from the deconfliction agreements with the US. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travels to Moscow early next week. The Russian government officially confirmed that they were alerted in advance to the pending US strike.
A new and even more unpredictable strategic situation has now emerged in the last 24 hours. The Constitution has been further eroded, and the global security environment has been set on a course that could lead to a much broader war.