Obama to Seek Congressional Approval for Syria War

Insists Attack Not 'Time-Sensitive'

The American war on Syria looks like it may be getting delayed a little bit, with President Obama saying that he’s made his decision to attack and that the Pentagon has told him they’re ready to start firing missiles at Syria at any time.

At the same time, Obama insisted the attack was “not time-sensitive” and that he could attack today, tomorrow, or even a week or month from now. The big surprise, however, was that he said he will seek Congressional authorization for the war.

The administration has repeatedly insisted they don’t need Congress to start a war, and Obama reiterated that claim today, saying he absolutely has the authority to attack Syria on his own, but that he believes the “nation will be stronger” with a Congressional debate.

Obama gave no indication that Congress would be brought back into session early, however there has been some hint of willingness from the Senate (and not the House), and without that the debate would have to wait until at least September 9, a week from Monday. Though Congress is expected to be hotly divided on the war, the administration presumably wouldn’t have asked for a vote if they didn’t believe they’d win it, particularly after Britain’s involvement in the war was stalled by its parliament.

Assuming that that none of this changes, and assuming the president doesn’t intend to start the war and then seek authorization after the fact, that would delay the start of the attacks through the next week and into the early part of the following week.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.