The 11 questions Congress faces on Syria

9/4/13
 
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from The Washington Post,
9/3/13:

The Obama administration’s decision to ask Congress to authorize the use of force in Syria will put legislators through some contentious and uncertain votes. It leaves them facing complicated politics and ideological divides within their own parties.

Most of all, though, the votes will force U.S. lawmakers to confront a Middle Eastern crisis that has confounded the world for more than two years.

What follows is a brief guide to the questions that members of Congress will consider as they decide how to vote on Obama’s request.

1. Why should the U.S. care about Syria?

2. Syria is a catastrophe. What does the United States stand to gain by getting involved?

3. What does the United States have to lose by launching strikes?

4. What if Syria or its allies strike back?

5. Should we try to do something bigger that might end the war?

6. Who is better for the United States, Assad or the rebels?

7. How would strikes affect U.S. relations with the Arab world?

8. How would strikes affect U.S. relations with Russia and Iran?

9. Some people say a political solution would be better. Shouldn’t we try that?

10. What happens if we do nothing?

11. Would voting down the president’s request hurt U.S. foreign policy?

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