Get a first-hand look at just how strongly Americans feel about staying out of a Syrian civil war.
Below is the response a reader received from his congressman, Chris Gibson, (R-NY 19).
Thank you very much for contacting me regarding military intervention in Syria. It is good to hear from you.
As a country, we face few decisions as grave as committing our nation’s armed forces to military action against an enemy. The Constitution clearly vests the responsibility to declare war and authorize the use of military force with the people’s representatives in Congress. I commend the President for seeking Congressional authorization for the use of force as prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973. While the Founders wisely gave the office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate, and approval by the American people through their elected representatives, prior to committing U.S. armed forces to hostilities. In the past, this President, and presidents from both political parties, has failed to comply with the spirit and intent of the War Powers Resolution by not consulting with and gaining authorization from Congress for the use of military force. That is why I introduced H.R. 383, the “War Powers Reform Act of 2013,” which would clarify when the President needs to obtain Congressional approval before deploying our Armed Forces.
The President has asked Congress to authorize military action against Syria. I am strongly opposed to this, and will vote no. It is my judgment, as a 29-year veteran of our Armed Forces, that military intervention would not improve the situation on the ground in Syria, but exacerbate the conflict, embolden extremist forces and Americanize a civil war, potentially requiring deeper U.S. involvement.
Clearly, the situation in Syria is a humanitarian tragedy and we sympathize with the tremendous suffering taking place in that country. However, it is my belief that a decision to use military force should be made with the utmost caution and only when all diplomatic options have been exhausted. I have been consistent in opposition to U.S. military involvement in Syria and the President’s plan earlier this year to supply arms to rebel groups, many of which are affiliated with al-Qaeda and adversaries of the U.S. and our interests in the region. Rather, I support the full leveraging of U.S. diplomatic, economic and humanitarian leadership to bring about a peaceful resolution to the fighting in Syrian.
The conflict in Syria is complex, involving multiple regional and global actors who are waging proxy wars in the country. In my judgment, U.S. military intervention is not the answer to this problem. This sentiment has been expressed by an overwhelming number of residents of the 19th district who have written and called my office this week to state their opposition to military intervention.
Thank you once again for contacting me with your thoughts. Please don’t hesitate to inform me of any future concerns through my website http://gibson.house.gov or over the phone at (202) 225-5614.
Member of Congress