September 18, 2013
Washington, D.C. - Representative Brad Wenstrup announced his opposition to the proposed Syria resolution Tuesday evening, following a series of classified briefings and committee hearings on the topic. Wenstrup says that while he had been skeptical of the resolution since the President first proposed military strikes in Syria, he wanted to wait until evaluating all available information.
“I do not support the resolution authorizing military force in Syria. Over the last week, I have harbored strong concerns about such a resolution, but reserved judgment until I heard all the facts, including the Administration’s case presented in classified briefings, hearings and briefings through the House Armed Services Committee, on which I serve, and multiple media interviews by President Obama,” Wenstrup said.
During a House Armed Service Committee hearing on Tuesday, Wenstrup had the opportunity to press administration officials about their contradictory definitions of proposed action. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this summer that military action in Syria “…is no less than an act of war” while Secretary of State John Kerry claimed earlier this week, when making the case for military action in Syria, that “we’re not talking about war. We’re not going to war.”
“The use of chemical weapons is a consequential matter, but so is the possibility of war and committing our military to action,” continued Wenstrup. “After listening to my constituents and other stakeholders as well as evaluating the resolution, I do not believe that authorizing military action is in America’s clear security interest.”
His congressional office has received greater feedback on this issue than any other during his first nine months in office. Wenstrup also expressed concern over the direction of the country’s foreign policy.
“Frankly, I’m alarmed that our nation’s foreign policy appears to be guided by off the cuff remarks on the part of President Obama and Secretary Kerry rather than by a coherent set of principles and guidelines. If America is to remain a leader in the world, we cannot continue to confuse our allies and embolden our adversaries with muddled language and action,” Wenstrup said.
Representative Wenstrup is a member of the House Armed Services and the Veterans Affairs Committees. He is currently a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and served in Iraq as a combat surgeon from 2005 to 2006.