Casey Statement on U.S. Air Strikes in Syria

Casey Statement on U.S. Air Strikes in Syria

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released a statement following U.S. air strikes on targets in Syria:

“While Bashar al-Assad must be held accountable for his unlawful use of chemical weapons against civilians, the strikes that have been carried out were done without an authorization from Congress, which is unacceptable. In April of 2017, when the Trump Administration first carried out strikes against Syrian forces in response to the use of chemical weapons, I said that additional action required an authorization from Congress. Despite being in office for fifteen months, the Administration has not taken steps to outline a comprehensive strategy for Syria. Further, the Administration has failed to request an authorization from Congress for further military action against Assad’s regime.

There is no purely military solution to the Syrian conflict. What’s needed is a diplomatic plan to bring an end to this crisis and hold the Syrian government, the Russians and the Iranians fully accountable for their conduct. The Administration should work towards a political solution that meets the legitimate expectations of the Syrian people and leads to a constitution, elections, rule of law and functioning government ministries. Continued violence in Syria creates a safe haven for terrorists and emboldens our adversaries, Iran and Russia. Sporadic missile strikes and saber rattling on Twitter by President Trump is not a strategy.

The Administration should seek an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) by Congress if it wants to continue to military actions against Syrian forces - the same way President Obama sought authorization in 2013 in a similar circumstance involving Syria. Beyond the immediate situation in Syria, it’s time for a sustained debate and vote on a new AUMF that allows our nation to destroy terrorists and fight threats to U.S. national security, but doesn’t result in endless war. The 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, which authorized military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, are outdated and must be replaced.”