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Chabot on Syria: "I Have Not Yet Been Convinced..."


Location: Cincinnati, OH

Authorizing the use of military force is one of the most difficult decisions that any member of Congress faces.

The situation in Syria is no exception.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a brutal, ruthless dictator whose apparent use of chemical weapons against his own people is beyond deplorable.

However, I have not yet been convinced that President Obama's proposed course of action is in our country's best interest.

In particular, I am deeply concerned that the limited military action being considered will not be significant enough to deter future atrocities by Assad and might even boost his image in the Middle East, making a bad situation even worse.

On the other hand, in the event that the proposed strikes are successful and the Assad regime is significantly weakened, there are serious questions about how a post-Assad Syria will look, particularly with al-Qaida-connected groups on the ground ready to seize control if given a chance.

In my view, arming and assisting the moderate rebel forces in Syria would have been a more effective strategy.

Failing to do that has allowed anti-U.S. factions closely aligned with al-Qaida to gain strength and potentially take over if and when Assad falls.

That would be even worse than Assad remaining in power.

In the coming days, I will continue to review all the available evidence, and listen to the administration and to my constituents.

And I will do everything in my power to make the right decision.

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