According to top administration official, President Obama will not strike Syria without Congressional approval. During an interview on NPR, Deputy National Security Adviser Blinken said, “the president has the authority to act,” even without congressional approval, but added, “it's neither his desire nor intention to use that authority absent [of] Congress backing him.” And, that approval is looking less and less likely.
The Think Progress Blog did an analysis of public statements given by Representatives in the House, and found that only 44 said they will definitely vote to approve military action. More than 200 members of Congress say they will definitely vote against the strike, or that it's highly unlikely that they would support it. Even those senators who support some type of action are looking for an alternative. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp are circulating a resolution to delay action, and resolve the conflict using diplomatic means.
In addition, it's not only the U.S. Congress that opposes a military strike in Syria. United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-moon warned that “ill-considered” military action in Syria could have “tragic consequences” for the Syrian people. President Obama, and those who support the strike, now stand in opposition to the U.N., Russia, China, and some European nations – not to mention a vast majority of the American people.
When President Obama was asked Friday about acting without congressional approval, he refused to speculate on how he might act. Perhaps the weight of an international push back, combined with the vocal opposition of Americans, will keep our nation from triggering a potential world war.
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