Sep 5

Past Event

Striking Syria? Obama, Congress and Military Action

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President Obama has asked Congress to consider his proposal to use military force against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, in response to the chemical weapons attack on August 21 that has reportedly left nearly 1,500 dead. Does the president’s proposal make sense—legally, strategically and morally? How important is it that Congress approve any action? What happens if there is a divided vote, with the Senate going one way and the House another? What kind of strike is most likely to occur? What are the chances of subsequent escalation, in the first instance by the Assad government or one of its regional allies, and thereafter by the United States and its partners? How can the U.S. strike Assad without inadvertently helping al Qaeda?

On September 5, Brookings scholars Michael Doran, Fiona Hill, Suzanne Maloney, Jeremy Shapiro and Bruce Riedel discussed the issue. Michael O’Hanlon, director of research for the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, moderated the discussion.



September 5, 2013

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW


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Foreign Policy

Upcoming Event

Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis and Its Political Implications
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Related Book

The Road to War

Is President Obama's decision to seek congressional approval for action against Syria an unusual one? In The Road to War, Marvin Kalb writes that historically, presidents have "relied more on commitments, public and private, than they have on declarations of war, even though the U.S. Constitution declares rather unambiguously that Congress has the responsibility to 'declare war.’"