Eager for more information from the Trump Administration, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) reacted skeptically to President Donald Trump’s order to launch air strikes on Syria in response to alleged chemical attacks on civilians by Bashar al-Assad. While Menendez applauded the engagement of international partners for the mission, both senators said the President to this point lacks a coherent strategy for Syria, and insisted on Congressional authorization for the sustained use of American force.
“The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons,” said Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Tonight’s announcement of airstrikes in cooperation with the British and French military underscores the importance of partners and alliances in achieving shared objectives.
“But we should be clear: military strikes are no substitute for a real strategy,” Menendez added. “While we are still learning the details about these strikes, the Administration has not provided sufficient details about its military plans. The President has asserted authority under Article II of the Constitution for these strikes, but any sustained military action in Syria would require Congressional authorization. I expect the Trump Administration to promptly brief Congress on these strikes, their plan for Syria, including countering Russian and Iranian support for the regime, and any future use of military force.”
Also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Booker issued this statement following Trump’s decision to launch military strikes in Syria:
“I’m deeply concerned that President Trump continues to conduct military operations without any comprehensive strategy or the necessary congressional authorization. Every American, and particularly our men and women in uniform and their families, deserve far better than action without debate, accountability, and a Constitutionally-required authorization for the use of military force.”