The question of whether to take military action against Syria is before Congress and has drawn support from some key members of both parties. On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry began to make the case for intervention, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey sitting beside him outlining the parameters of the strike.
As they explained, the intent of the attack would be to disparage the further use of chemical weapons and degrade Assad’s capacity to use them. The action is aimed to change Assad’s calculations so that he would be better off risking losing the civil war than dealing with the consequences of using chemical weapons. Further details, including the U.S. capacity to neutralize and secure the chemical weapons, will be discussed in a classified meeting with Congress today.
In addition to deterring Assad’s use of chemical weapons, there are other concerns being weighed against the options laid out by the President. A major concern is the potential for the chemical weapons to end up in the hands of Assad backer Hezbollah, or rebel backing elements of al Qaeda. Another topic of discussion was why the U.S. was considering only a limited strike when the stated goal of the Administration is the removal of the Assad regime. Gen. Dempsey explained his position that a full scale military action would be much more costly, and the U.S. would continue its efforts to oust Assad via arming vetted, moderate opposition fighters. The rebels have yet to receive the lethal aid authorized in June, and some are suggesting moving the operation from the C.I.A. to the D.O.D.
WSB Radio, Congress Moves Forward on Syria: http://www.wsbradio.com/weblogs/jamie-dupree/2013/sep/03/congress-moves-forward-syria/
The Wall Street Journal, Support Builds in Congress for U.S. Strike Against Syria: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432404579053344262636248.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories
Reuters, Syria Live: http://live.reuters.com/Event/Syria_9
The Wall Street Journal, Key Lawmakers Back Obama on Syria Strike: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432404579052882138751904.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories
The Wall Street Journal, Israel Says It Held Joint Missile Test with U.S.: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323932604579052412226246906.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories
The Wall Street Journal, U.N. Chief Warns Against U.S. Military Action: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324886704579053111012394576.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories
WSB Radio, Obama: ‘I’m Confident’ of Getting Syria Resolution: http://www.wsbradio.com/news/ap/top-news/obama-im-confident-of-getting-syria-resolution/nZkXJ/
The Wall Street Journal, The Stakes on the Syria Vote: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432404579049261525066516.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
The Wall Street Journal, The Politics of the Obama Delay on Syria: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432404579049170642934080.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop