Walz Statement on U.S. Missile Strikes in Syria
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Tim Walz (MN-01) released this statement following U.S. missile strikes in Syria last night:
“On Tuesday, the Assad Regime, which is backed by Putin’s Russia, committed an unconscionable war crime against the Syrian people when it carried out a chemical attack killing innocent men, women, and children. I condemn Assad’s use of chemical weapons in the strongest possible terms.
“While the United States will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons and the missile strikes our Armed Forces conducted last night in response to this monstrosity were clearly warranted, the signal that they sent was less clear. Before the United States takes any further military action, especially if it may risk putting more of our men and women in uniform into harm’s way, the Congress must vote on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
“I have been advocating for a new AUMF throughout my time in Congress because, no matter the administration – and absent an immediate, direct threat to the U.S. – the decision to use military force lies with the Congress, as is stated in our Constitution. However, before we, as Members of Congress, can exercise our most solemn constitutional duty of deciding whether it is in our national interest to send our fellow Americans to war, the Trump Administration must communicate a holistic strategy to address the situation in the region to Congress, which it has yet to do. I fear that if a sound plan to address the complexities on the ground in Syria and Iraq is not offered quickly, our window of opportunity to affect positive change may soon close.
“Furthermore, any holistic strategy cannot fall solely under the Department of Defense’s responsibility. The State Department and other agencies need to play a critical role, and I’m concerned that the Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts to these agencies tell us that this Administration fails to value their vital contributions toward peace.
“Assad must be brought to justice, but we cannot enter into another perpetual war. If we are to take further military action in Syria, we owe it to our brave service members to provide them a clear directive, an unquestionable path to victory, and a coalition of allied forces to fight by their side.”