WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution on Wednesday authorizing limited U.S. military intervention in Syria, setting the stage for a debate in the full Senate next week on the use of force.
The committee voted 10-7 in favor of a compromise resolution that sets a 60-day limit on any engagement in Syria, with a possible 30-day extension, and bars the use of U.S. troops on the ground for combat operations.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry briefly opened the door on Tuesday to authorizing U.S. ground troops in Syria, but quickly slammed it shut and told Congress that any resolution approving military force would prohibit “boots on the ground.”
The exchange during the first public hearing in Congress on possible military action in Syria highlighted the worries of many lawmakers about authorizing U.S. military strikes to punish the Syrian government for using chemical weapons on civilians.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that a resolution in Congress on the use of military force in Syria should not remove the option of using U.S. ground troops, although he stressed there was “no intention” of inserting American soldiers into Syria’s civil war.
At the first public hearing in Congress on potential military action in Syria, Kerry said “it would be preferable” not to preclude the use of ground troops to preserve President Barack Obama’s options if there was a potential threat of chemical weapons falling into the hands of extremists.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said on Tuesday he was confident after talking with President Barack Obama that the United States would step up its support for “vetted” elements of the Syrian opposition.
Senator Carl Levin said he urged the president, a fellow Democrat, to arm the Syrian rebels a day after two influential Republican senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, sought similar assurances from Obama, who is trying to persuade lawmakers to authorize limited U.S. military action in Syria.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and his aides pressed U.S. lawmakers on Monday to approve military force against Syria but many members of Congress were worried that an attack would only drag America into another Middle Eastern conflict with no end in sight.
Obama’s abrupt decision to halt plans for a strike against the government of President Bashar al-Assad and instead wait for congressional approval has generated a raging debate just as the president prepares to go to Sweden and Russia this week.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers began work on Monday on their version of an authorization of the use of military force in Syria, worrying that President Barack Obama’s draft could open the door to possible use of ground troops or eventual attacks on other countries.
Obama’s proposal, released on Saturday by the White House, authorizes the president to use the armed forces “as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Susan Rice is facing her first key test as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser as she helps lead a White House effort to convince a skeptical Congress that the United States must respond to Syria’s apparent use of chemical weapons.
Rice has made an abrupt transition from a high-profile and sometimes combative U.S. ambassador, who scolded the U.N. Security Council for failing to agree on Syria sanctions, to a behind-the-scenes power player at the White House.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. military response to alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria appeared more likely on Sunday after Washington dismissed the Syrian government’s offer to allow U.N. inspection of the sites as “too late to be credible.”
A senior official of the U.S. administration said there was little doubt the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians in suburbs of Damascus last week and that President Barack Obama was weighing how to respond.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has several diplomatic and military choices before him as he considers whether to take action against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over charges it carried out a massive deadly chemical weapons attack in the civil war there.
Here are some of Obama’s options, and the downside of taking them:
* PUSH FOR U.N. INSPECTORS TO GET ACCESS TO THE SITE OF THE ALLEGED CHEMICAL ATTACKS.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some U.S. lawmakers are calling for the Obama administration to shut off aid to Egypt in the aftermath of the army’s lethal crackdown on protesters. But untangling the aid relationship with Cairo would not be simple and could be costly for the United States as well as Egypt.
A special financing arrangement Cairo uses could leave U.S. taxpayers holding the bill for billions of dollars in equipment Egypt already has ordered on credit, and companies like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics that build military hardware for Egypt would be affected by aid restrictions.