Thank you for taking the time to contact me to share your views regarding the use of military force in Syria. By hearing your thoughts and concerns on the issues, I am better able to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives.
On August 21, 2013, reports emerged that the Syrian government used sarin nerve gas in a suburb of Damascus to attack opposition controlled areas. Since then, the White House has released documentation confirming the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons - a violation of the Geneva Protocol. As a result, over 1,400 men, women, and children were killed. The President is seeking Congressional authorization for the use of military force to respond to these heinous and despicable acts by the Syrian government.
As your representative, I believe limited military involvement in Syria is the correct course of action to deter the future use of chemical weapons in Syria and elsewhere in the world. If the Syrian government believes chemical weapons can be used with impunity then many more thousands will be killed as the war escalates. Even more dangerous, America will send a message to the likes of Iran and other despots that weapons of mass destruction may be used without severe retribution.
On September 4, 2013, I had the opportunity to ask questions of Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey during the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing entitled “Syria: Weighing the Obama Administration’s Response.” My concerns to the panel focused on the potential impact if the U.S. decided to do nothing in response to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. The response was that a failure to use military force in Syria for using chemical weapons will embolden Al Qaeda and other enemies willing to commit evil atrocities, and could further jeopardize our national security. Make no mistake; failure to act makes Al Qaeda stronger in Syria and throughout the world, not weaker.
As a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a current member of the Air National Guard, I understand the national sentiment of war weariness. However, I feel our nation’s national security will be at risk if we let the use of chemical weapons go unpunished. American soldiers have not faced chemical weapons on the battlefield since World War I because our enemies have known the United States would respond with a vengeance far outweighing any temporary gain made by using such weapons. Simply stated, if America retreats from the world stage, our core values will undoubtedly be replaced with those of Russia and China. If we do not have the will to act now, we will continue to face greater challenges from those who would do America harm.
To function as the founders intended, our republic requires the active participation of informed voters. As your elected representative, we may not always agree on the issues but I do value your opinion.
Again, thank you for contacting me. It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. Please do not hesitate to contact me if my office can be of assistance to you on any issue of importance.
Member of Congress