In light of the fatal aftermath of Syria's use of chemical weapons against its citizens, Congress is calling for the Obama administration to propose a solid plan outlining the U.S.'s stance and forthcoming actions. Given the significance of the decision, Obama must be more forthright with his plans. He should proactively offer peace of mind to a nation whipped into a frenzy over the prospect of yet another foreign conflict rather than avoid meaningful open discussions. He should emerge as a clear leader, not force members of Congress members to reach out for leadership.
Undoubtedly, this is a difficult task because the details surrounding the deployment of chemical weapons and the potential outcome of direct intervention are contentious. While Vice President Biden firmly believes that the Assad regime was responsible, others, such as Russia and Assad himself, claim the rebels actually deployed the chemical weapons. The first step in deciding to intervene in Syria is to determine who the U.S. ought to support beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Clearly, the U.S. seems committed to supporting the rebels against the Assad regime. However, these details must be apparent and obvious if the U.S. plans to act in ways its applies don't necessarily approve of. The ramifications of deploying military force in Syria are serious and will profoundly impact our nation and the world. This is why Rep. Joe Boehner (R-Ohio) sent a letter requesting Obama that communicate the strategy, objectives, and policy concerning any hypothetical military intervention to the public. Boehner considers the possibility that U.S. intervention could makes things worse if "the Assad regime potentially los[es] command and control of its stock of chemical weapons or terrorist organizations – especially those tied to Al-Qaeda – gain greater control."
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also calls for open dialogue about the issue, but his appeal differs on one key point. While Boehner says "I support these policies and publicly agreed with you when you established your red line regarding the use or transfer of chemical weapons last August," Paul assumes a non-interventionist stance, stating that the U.S. has no "no clear national security connection" with the revolution. He also emphasizes that "We should not intervene militarily in a country like Syria, where we can't separate friend from foe and might end up arming the very people who hate us the most."
An open, public dialogue about such a pertinent topic could occur if it were not for Obama's dodgy behavior. Obama has wanted to support the Syrian rebels for a long time, starting with sending them weapons. He wants to avoid opposition from staunch non-interventionist voices in Congress like Rand. Furthermore, Obama wants to form a strong, cohesive proposal that will reflect the best interests of the U.S. government, the American public, and our international allies.