Following weeks of debate concerning American involvement in Syria, President Barack Obama made a nationally broadcasted speech on Tuesday, Sept. 10 discussing his proposed solution. The speech, which can be viewed below, addressed the humanitarian and political implications of the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons. Here is The Harbinger’s breakdown of the controversy and Obama’s position.
Original Controversy: The country of Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, when the Arab Spring in other countries inspired Syrian rebels to begin their own protests. Violence escalated between both parties and resulted in over 100,000 deaths in the last two years.
The American Interest: On Aug. 21, the Syrian government used chemical weapons against a neighborhood of rebels. The weapons killed indiscriminately, meaning that civilians’ and childrens’ lives were lost along with rebels. Chemical weapons have been internationally banned since 1997 as weapons of mass destruction. Syrian use of chemical weapons has raised questions of their abilities to use other banned weapons against America and its allies.
The President’s Proposal: In his address, President Obama proposed a military strike against Syria. This strike would not put American troops into Syria, but would utilize drones and missile strikes. The U.S. is also partnering with allies such as Britain, France and Russia to apply pressure to Syria.
The Goal: The goal of any American intervention is for the Syrian government to relinquish and destroy all chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
The Role of Congress: President Obama is suggesting a military strike, but he is leaving the decision to Congress. He believes that this will cause a more unified and effective reaction, no matter what the country decides.