Rep. Miller Statement on U.S. Military Involvement in the Syrian Civil War

Sep 1, 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) today issued the following statement regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria.

“Today I returned to the U.S. Capitol and received a classified briefing on the situation in Syria along with a number of my colleagues from the House of Representatives.  I am now quite certain based on the information shared with us that the Assad Regime did use chemical weapons in the ongoing Syrian Civil War.  It is my belief that the world must unite against such an assault on human dignity and join together to stop further such atrocities.

“If the last 12 years has taught us anything it is that the American military should not be used as the world’s police force, it should only be used to protect the American people and vital American interests.  I am still not convinced that the unilateral use of American armed forces in the Syrian Civil War is in the vital national security interests of the United States.  I also have grave concerns with the wording of the proposed resolution allowing the use of force which could be interpreted to be far less limited and much more open ended than the President has suggested. 

“I will continue to diligently review all of the information put forward and listen to thoughts of my constituents as Congress moves forward in the debate over whether to allow the use of American armed forces in the Syrian Civil War, but at this point I do not believe the case has yet been made.”

Note - Text of the Draft Resolution:
Whereas, on August 21, 2013, the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus, Syria, killing more than 1,000 innocent Syrians;

Whereas these flagrant actions were in violation of international norms and the laws of war;

Whereas the United States and 188 other countries comprising 98 percent of the world's population are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling or use of chemical weapons;

Whereas, in the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, Congress found that Syria's acquisition of weapons of mass destruction threatens the security of the Middle East and the national security interests of the United States;

Whereas the United Nations Security Council, in Resolution 1540 (2004), affirmed that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons constitutes a threat to international peace and security;

Whereas, the objective of the United States' use of military force in connection with this authorization should be to deter, disrupt, prevent, and degrade the potential for, future uses of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction;

Whereas, the conflict in Syria will only be resolved through a negotiated political settlement, and Congress calls on all parties to the conflict in Syria to participate urgently and constructively in the Geneva process; and

Whereas, unified action by the legislative and executive branches will send a clear signal of American resolve.

(a) Authorization. -- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria in order to --

(1) prevent or deter the use or proliferation (including the transfer to terrorist groups or other state or non-state actors), within, to or from Syria, of any weapons of mass destruction, including chemical or biological weapons or components of or materials used in such weapons; or

(2) protect the United States and its allies and partners against the threat posed by such weapons.
(b) War Powers Resolution Requirements. –

(1) Specific Statutory Authorization. -- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

(2) Applicability of other requirements. -- Nothing in this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.