April 14, 2018

Duckworth Statement on Use of Military Force in Syria


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement on the use of military force in Syria:

“The world cannot turn a blind eye to the Assad regime’s repeated use of illegal chemical weapons against their own people. Violations of absolute, unquestioned international norms, like the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons, must be confronted by the entire international community. While these strikes will have undoubtedly degraded the Assad regime’s ability to conduct a chemical weapons attack, we must be clear-eyed about whether they will actually change this regime’s behavior. The military strike the United States launched on a Syrian airfield a year ago in response to the sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun did not prevent Assad from continuing to use chemical weapons to murder innocent civilians – this month’s attack was not an anomaly. The international community had a moral obligation to act but limited airstrikes will not be effective without a broader strategy with our allies that connects military action with political objectives.

“To date, the President has not offered a strategy. Instead, he initially reacted to the chemical attack recklessly, tweeting military threats and signaling his intentions.

“While the President rightly consulted our allies, I am also particularly alarmed that the Trump Administration did not first seek Congressional authorization for these strikes despite having ample time to do so, leaving these strikes on questionable legal ground. Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to authorize military action. It’s past time we acted like the coequal branch of government we are and had a debate about any further use of military force as the Constitution requires.”