Should we strike in Syria?
We may be only days away from launching an attack on Syria. On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the use of chemical weapon attacks on civilians was “undeniable,” and that the Obama Administration was prepared to hold the Syrian government accountable. On Tuesday, world leaders in the U.S., Britain, and the United Nations told Syrian rebels to expect an attack on President Bashar al-Assad's military forces.
In an interview with the BBC, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the United States military is “ready to go,” and said, “we are working with the United Nations.” At this point, military action in Syria seems all but certain, and air strikes could happen as early as Thursday according to senior U.S. officials. However, U.S. lawmakers are divided on how to proceed, and many are calling on President Obama to reconvene Congress ,and gain approval before ordering any military action.
Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, along with Democrat Bill Nelson, support a military strike in Syria, but a large, bi-partisan group of lawmakers disagree. Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee said, “While the use of chemical weapons is deeply troubling and unacceptable, I believe there is no military solution to the complex Syrian crisis.” And, Republican Congressman Scott Rigell posed the question, “What does this look like a month out, six months our, a year out?”
This situation is evolving rapidly, and it's unlikely that these important questions will be answered before a decision is made about a military strike. There is no easy solution here, and it's likely that action against Assad could make matters even worse. All we can do now is watch closely, and hope that our elected leaders work together to agree on the best action. Keep an eye on this.