Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has introduced a War Powers resolution in the House calling on Joe Biden to immediately remove U.S. troops from Syria. Gaetz filed the resolution in response to a report from the U.S. Central Command last week indicating four American soldiers were wounded during a helicopter raid in Syria.
Gaetz, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, said the report contradicted Biden’s previous claim that there were no U.S. troops in Syria. In that the U.S. is not at war with or against Syria, the Florida Republican demanded the president explain the reasons for the military presence in the country.
He further expressed concern that Biden did not have a cognitive grasp of the Syrian conflict and was worried that he might not understand the risks involved in the continued U.S. presence in Syria.
The War Powers Resolution tests Republicans and Democrats on whether they are committed to the America First Foreign Policy and a move to end what Gaetz described as Obama’s war in Syria. He is calling for members of Congress to vote on the future of the U.S. military presence in Syria through the resolution, which requires U.S. armed forces be sent home from Syria no later than 15 days following the resolution’s adoption.
Gaetz expressed concern that Syria was a “powder keg for very dangerous escalation” and posed the risk of direct kinetic conflict between the United States and Russia. He argued that it was time to reassess whether the U.S. should continue its involvement in the Syrian civil war. Gaetz added that Congress had never authorized U.S. military force in Syria, as expressly required by the Constitution.
He added, “we still find ourselves in the middle of a Syrian civil war with Russia and Turkey and Iran, all present in a very confined neighborhood.”
The War Powers resolution is in accordance with the 1973 War Powers Act, which was designed to limit the president’s ability to initiate or escalate military actions abroad. Under the act, the House must vote within 18 days after Gaetz’s resolution was introduced.
Gaetz demands that Congress decide whether the U.S. should remain involved in the Syrian conflict, what the goal is for being there and what a successful mission there looks like. He said he is looking for a more definite idea of where the anti-war coalition currently resides in Congress, whether it is more on the right, more on the left, or some combination thereof.