Declaration of Values

The Obama Administration seeks Congress’ authorization only for use of “limited force” in Syria and does not intend to involve the United States military directly in Syria’s civil war, said the senior Administration witnesses and several senators at Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the use of force. Acknowledging a war-weary country, they emphasized there would be no American boots on the ground in Syria if Congress authorizes military action. “What is before us is a request, and I quote, ‘To prevent or deter the use or proliferation of chemical or biological weapons within, to, or from Syria, and to protect the United States and its allies and partners against the threat posed by such weapons,'” said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J), committee chairman. “This is not a declaration of war, but a declaration of our values to the world. A declaration that says we are willing to use our military power when necessary against anyone who dares turn such heinous weapons on innocent civilians anywhere in the world,” he said. During his testimony, Secretary of State John Kerry said the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians was not “President Obama’s red line.” Instead, said Kerry, “This debate is about the world’s red line. It’s about humanity’s red line.”