President Obama announced Saturday that he has concluded the United States should take military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime for using chemical weapons on civilians, but will first seek authorization from Congress.
“This menace must be confronted,” Obama said of the Assad regime’s alleged strike, speaking from the Rose Garden.
The announcement, though, sets up a timetable for debate that could drag on for weeks.
Obama said he would wait for Congress to return from recess; members are not scheduled to return until Sept. 9. Yet the president claimed any military response to Syria is “not time sensitive” and would be effective even one month from now.
The decision to seek congressional authorization is a departure from the administration’s decision to intervene in Libya in 2011. Though the president said he thinks he has the authority to order a military strike, he made clear he will ask Congress to vote on the issue.