After the U.S Launched 60 missiles in Syria today, U.S. lawmakers on Thursday urged caution on the Trump administration’s use of force in Syria after U.S. warships launched dozens of cruise missiles at military targets in country, warning that such attacks warrant Congressional approval.
“It does concern me that we not have an impulsive administration that is ready to completely change direction, that isn’t necessarily thinking through ‘what are all the consequences here,'” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow minutes after the attack.
Schiff’s warning followed an attack on a Syrian airfield where U.S. officials believe the Syrian military launched a chemical weapons attack on the country’s northern Idlib Province on Tuesday that killed scores of civilians, including numerous children.
Pentagon officials on Thursday were weighing a military response to the chemical strikes, and Defense Secretary James Mattis reportedly briefed President Trump on the matter.
“This is an act of war. Congress needs to come back into session & hold a debate. Anything less is an abdication of our responsibility,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter shortly after the U.S. missile strike.
In the wake of the attack, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle sounded off in their calls for congressional approval. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kent.) rejected Trump’s assertion that the strike in Syria was in the “vital national security interest” of the U.S., arguing that the president should have first gotten a thumbs up from Congress.
Another California Democrat, Rep. Ted Lieu, sided with Paul, and warned that such attacks could put U.S. troops already stationed in Syria at risk of retaliation from the country’s authoritarian government.
“Trump sent US ground troops to Syria last month purportedly to fight ISIS. Now our troops are at risk of being attacked by #Assad forces,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kent.) was more blunt in his criticism of the U.S. missile strikes. He quoted a 2013 tweet from Trump himself arguing that that former President Barack Obama “must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria.”
The U.S. attack on Thursday night marked a drastic turning point for the country’s involvement in Syria, where it has been primarily engaged in fighting Islamic State militants. Shortly after the missile strike, Syrian state television called the attack an “aggression.”
We already know that the military establishment has been wanting war a incentives before Obama, but it is strange that Donald Trump who vowed to be against the war now is supporting it.