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By Congressman Robert Hurt
The current situation in Syria is on the forefront of Americans’ thoughts, and for good reason. We are all deeply saddened by the recent use of chemical weapons, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of those who have suffered under President Bashar al-Assad.
Last week, America watched President Obama's address to our nation regarding the recent chemical attack and the ongoing civil war in Syria. I, along with my colleagues, commend him for engaging Congress and the American people on this vitally important subject.
I have repeatedly stated, however, that before the United States should commit any of its precious American lives or military resources to an attack on the Syrian regime, the President must articulate a compelling American national security interest that requires military action. I have attended classified briefings, and I have concluded that, at this time, the President has not demonstrated that a compelling national security interest is at stake. Because of this, I will not be able to support the Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution should it come to a vote under current circumstances.
That said, the horrific actions that have taken place in Syria should be fully investigated and those responsible should be brought to justice. We should use every diplomatic and economic sanction to prevent the future use of such weapons. I am encouraged to hear that the President has requested to postpone action in Congress to explore diplomatic options.
Only time will tell how sincere the Syrian government is about surrendering their stockpile of WMDs, but rest assured, I will continue to closely monitor the developments with this proposal.
If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.