More bombs won’t end the crisis in Syria. After more than six years of war, with millions displaced and a death toll of nearly half a million people, it’s clear that there is no military solution to this crisis.
But for years the U.S. has bombed Syria, and last night, the U.S. expanded the war by attacking a Syrian government airbase.
This week’s abhorrent chemical weapons attack was an act of unspeakable violence against civilians, and we are heartbroken over the deaths of Syrians, including many children. The Trump administration’s escalation is not the solution, and will only cause more killing and suffering for Syrian civilians. The U.S. should fully support the ongoing investigation of the chemical weapons attack and work with the international community to bring the perpetrators to justice.
In all decisions about the U.S. course of action, policymakers must recognize that years of direct U.S. military intervention, support of extremist armed groups, and weapons shipments to anti-government rebels in Syria have only added fuel to the fire and put Syrian civilians in greater danger.
Congress must take back its constitutional responsibility to decide when and if the U.S. goes to war. The Senate should stay in session and the House should return from recess to force consideration of an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, and Congress should oppose any further military action.
This tragedy further underscores the need for diplomatic solutions which engage all stakeholders. The only path toward shared security requires robust diplomacy, urgent humanitarian aid, and a comprehensive strategy to bring the crisis to an end through a political solution – not escalating war.
War is not the answer.
Diane Randall is the Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation.