April 14, 2018

Castro Statement on Airstrikes in Syria

Washington, D.C.—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, today made the following statement:

“The chemical attack on Douma last weekend was an atrocious affront to human rights. We faced a terrible, tough choice: do nothing as chemical weapons are used to murder children, inaction that might invite other rogue leaders to use chemical weapons or take military action that risks American lives, could escalate to full scale military confrontation, or contribute to a failed state that is ripe for terrorists.  

“So, the President chose to respond with a limited strike that signaled to Assad and his Russian and Iranian supporters that the free world will not tolerate this behavior. I thank our men and women in uniform that carried out this operation on behalf of the United States. I am also glad that our response included our allies In Britain and France. 

“But, missiles don’t solve long term challenges alone and we must be clear-eyed about where last night’s strike leaves us. Any military action against Assad and his allies can only continue with Congressional approval. Regardless of whether President Trump wishes to continue using military force, they must come to Congress immediately to consult on the best path forward and present a plan that includes a strategy with international support to reach a diplomatic solution to end this crisis.

“Further, it is nearly impossible to employ a sensible diplomatic strategy without the infrastructure for diplomacy in place. We have no confirmed Secretary of State and a new National Security Advisor who has a track record of politicizing intelligence and inflating the dangers of Syria’s biological and nuclear weapons program during his previous public service. I urge the President to work with Congress immediately to find a comprehensive strategy to deal with Syria and other pressing foreign policy challenges that confront our nation." 

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