President Obama addressed the nation tonight regarding Syria and said he has asked Congress to delay a vote on whether or not to use military force while he pursues Russia’s plan to take over and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.
Obama acknowledged that the “diplomatic path” must be handled carefully in order to convince Syria that the U.S. means business, something that Secretary of State John Kerry agrees with.
“It has to be swift, it has to be real, it has to be verifiable,” Mr. Kerry told the House Armed Services Committee. “It cannot be a delaying tactic.”
“It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitment,” Obama said, “but this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad’s strongest allies.”
Many are in favor of Russia’s plan if it means the U.S. doesn’t have to get involved in the civil war that has divided Syria for almost three years. But despite backing the plan to seize their chemical weapons–and promising not to “put American boots on the ground” in Syria if the plan fails–President Obama said that doesn’t mean he won’t organize a targeted attack via the U.S. military if diplomacy gets them nowhere.
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