April 07, 2017

Duckworth Statement on U.S. Missile Strike in Syria


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement on last night's U.S. military strike in Syria:

"Last night's cruise missile strike sends a clear and measured message to Bashar al-Assad that his horrific, unacceptable and illegal use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians will not go unanswered by the United States of America. While our Armed Forces effectively carried out their orders with utmost professionalism, the United States now finds itself with heightened tensions between our nation and adversaries like Russia and Iran.

"We as a nation must begin an in-depth discussion on behalf of our men and women in uniform regarding our role in this conflict. Now that we find ourselves in this position, it is my duty as a U.S Senator-and as a combat Veteran-to raise several fundamental questions: What was the legal justification for last night's strike? Is our goal to prevent future war crimes against the Syrian people or to remove Assad from power? What should our military and political strategy to achieve that goal be? What are the true costs of that strategy-in both dollars as well as human lives? And finally, are the American people as well as our allies prepared to support our efforts if things go wrong? Because in war, they always do.

"All of us were appalled to see Syrian children foaming at the mouth-dying-as a result of Assad's use of chemical weapons. We should not forget that this Administration made it harder for the victims of Assad's barbarity to escape their suffering by slamming our doors on those fleeing this humanitarian crisis. After weeks of sending dangerously mixed signals on Syria, the President owes it to our troops who are now in greater danger to clearly and unequivocally outline the long-term strategic end state he is seeking to achieve in Syria and the region. He owes it to the American people to answer each of these questions and he must ensure they have a voice, through their representatives in Congress, in any further use of force in carrying out his strategy."