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Liberal Logic: Republican Presidents who use military force are war mongers. Democrat Presidents who use military force are humanitarians.
— divadoll123 (@divadoll123) September 4, 2013
President Obama cleared his first hurdle on Wednesday in his push for a military strike in Syria, as a key Senate panel voted to authorize the use of force.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7, with one senator voting present, to approve a military strike in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack last month. The full Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week.
The vote came after Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raised objections to an earlier draft. The objections forced lawmakers to renegotiate the measure; McCain ultimately won tougher language clarifying that U.S. policy would be aimed at changing the momentum on the ground. He was among the 10 who voted for the final resolution, after getting two amendments added.
“These amendments are vital to ensuring that any U.S. military operations in Syria are part of a broader strategy to change the momentum on the battlefield in Syria,” McCain said in a statement afterward. “That strategy must degrade the military capabilities of the Assad regime while upgrading the military capabilities of moderate Syrian opposition forces. These amendments would put the Congress on the record that this is the policy of the United States, as President Obama has assured me it is.”
The resolution specifically would permit Obama to order a limited military mission against Syria, as long as it doesn’t exceed 90 days and involves no American troops on the ground for combat operations. The Democratic chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez, and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Bob Corker, crafted the resolution.
The vote was nevertheless close. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who voted against the measure, said he remains “unconvinced that the use of force proposed here will work.”
This resolution will likely pass the full (Democrat-controlled) Senate, but as the article notes, there may be trouble with getting it to pass in the House, where there appears to be a deeper divide – one which even crosses party lines a bit – when it comes to possible military action. Stay tuned.