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The Braley Brief: A Unilateral Response is Not the Answer

September 27, 2013
Bruce Braley - U.S. Congressman (IA-01) , Dysart Reporter

On August 21, Bashar al-Assad, the brutal dictator who rules Syria, used chemical weapons against his own people, killing hundreds of civilians including women and children. It's the latest horrific example of unchecked violence in Syria's ongoing civil war.

Within days, President Obama called for an American military response to this heinous and despicable act, and asked Congress for authority to do it.

For more than a week, I carefully reviewed the case for military action. I listened to the case presented by President Obama and his administration for a limited US military strike in Syria, studied classified materials, attended classified briefings, and consulted with military officials and the Iowa National Guard.

I also reached out to Iowans to gauge how they felt about US military action in Syria. Over 20,000 people participated in my online survey on whether the United States military should intervene in Syria - and over 75 percent said they were opposed to American military action.

It's clear to me that Iowans are extremely reluctant to get involved in another conflict in the Middle East and are concerned that initiating military action against Syria could further inflame tensions in the region.

I've come to the same conclusion. I'm unconvinced that a limited US military strike is the appropriate response to the atrocities committed in Syria, and I don't think unilateral American intervention in Syria serves our national security interests.

I'm encouraged the President has decided to move forward with options that further involve the international community in an effort to hold the Syrian government accountable for its crimes and rid the country of chemical weapons.

As we continue to watch diplomatic efforts unfold over the coming days and weeks, I'm hopeful the international community can come together and find a solution. It's the job of the international community to hold Syria's brutal dictator accountable not the job of the US alone.



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