Unless President Obama can show Congress that his planned Syria strike is linked to a larger – and coherent – strategy, legislators should just say no.
So far, his explanations, and those of his cabinet members at congressional hearings, have only added to the confusion. “What is it you’re seeking?” Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) asked Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, in trying to elicit the broader goals of military action. The general replied candidly, “I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.”
That moment of testimony encapsulated the dilemma for the Congress and the country. If the military doesn’t grasp where the commander in chief is leading, and the president can’t (or won’t) clarify, we’re all in trouble. You can’t get there if you don’t know where “there” is.
This is not the way to wage a war – oops, I mean a limited military strike.