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'Inaction on Syria Threatens U.S. Security'

3:41 PM, Sep 6, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Former senators Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyl write in the Wall Street Journal:

When Congress returns to Washington next week, it will begin an intensive and historic debate over authorizing military force against the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria—a debate whose outcome is very much uncertain.

We share the concerns of many in Congress about the Obama administration's handling of the crisis in Syria over the past two years and its approach to the Middle East more generally. We also understand the doubts of those who fear that the limited airstrikes the White House appears inclined to pursue, in order to punish Assad for using chemical weapons, have not yet been tied to a broader strategy, even though President Obama has said that Assad must go. And we are sympathetic to those frustrated that President Obama has done so little to make the case to a war-weary American people about why intervention in Syria is in our national interest, and that this is happening under the cloud of sequestration-mandated defense cuts.

But none of this should blind us from a larger truth: Regardless of how we got here, failure to authorize military force against Assad now will have far-reaching and profoundly harmful consequences for American national security.

This is no longer just about the conflict in Syria or even the Middle East. It is about American credibility. Are we a country that our friends can trust and our enemies fear? Or are we perceived as a divided and dysfunctional superpower in retreat, whose words and warnings are no longer meaningful?

Whole thing here.

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