Tell Congress: Speak Out Against Trump's War Escalation in Syria
June 24, 2017
From Peace Action:
Since April, President Trump has unilaterally escalated U.S. military actions directly against the Syrian government and its allies.
In early April, the president unilaterally ordered the launch of 57 cruise missiles against a Syrian airfield in response a chemical weapon attack allegedly perpetrated by the Syrian military. The attack came with no apparent plan for what comes next and with no legal authorization from Congress.
In mid-May and early June, U.S. fighter jets launched several attacks against pro-Syrian forces near Syria's southern border. With these strikes the U.S. crossed a dangerous threshold, raising the prospect of a sustained military conflict with the Syrian government and its allies. With Russian and Iranian fighters also in the area, this reckless escalation has the potential to ignite a much larger Middle East war.
Now earlier this week, a U.S. fighter jet shot down a Syrian fighter from the air. This marks the first time the U.S. military has downed a Syrian aircraft since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011. The possibility of the U.S. sliding into all out war with Syria and direct conflict with Russia is now at an all time high.
These are all illegal acts of war that violate both U.S. and international law. Congress is empowered by the Constitution to debate and vote on whether the U.S. goes to war, and no such debate or vote on attacking the Syrian government or its allies has taken place.
It's unclear what, if any, strategy is guiding these dangerous escalations in Syria. It may even be that these escalations are designed to draw the U.S. into a full scale war with Syria. Either way, U.S. policy in Syria is rapidly heading in the wrong direction.
Whether in Syria or elsewhere, the complex wars in the Middle East cannot be ended through military force. Only intensive diplomatic and political solutions can accomplish that.
It's important to remember the situation that developed in Afghanistan, where the military campaign against Al Qaeda evolved into the quagmire fight against the Taliban. Today, the war in Afghanistan remains America's longest war, nearing its sixteenth year. It begs the question, with the escalation of U.S. attacks in Syria, will we still be fighting a war there in 2033 or beyond?