As the three-year anniversary of Syria’s civil war approaches, a bipartisan group of senators has a message for President Obama: It’s time for a new strategy on Syria.
Nine senators used a letter on Friday to urge the president to “press forward” with the administration’s “reexamination” of its policy, adding that while they have backed humanitarian aid efforts, “events on the ground are proving that this is not enough.”
The letter was signed by Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; Carl Levin, D-Mich.; James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Tim Kaine, D-Va.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Christopher Coons, D-Del.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; and Angus King, I-Maine.
Despite frequent congressional gridlock, they write, they “believe there is still strong, bipartisan support in the Senate for developing and implementing a comprehensive Syria strategy” that could pave the way for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be removed from power and let moderate opposition groups lead during the transition to a new government.
But the senators are vague on details of what that strategy should entail, writing instead that the “current balance of power” needs to be changed so that Assad “no longer believes he can remain Syria’s ruler.”
They add that the moderate opposition forces and the Syrian Opposition Coalition — a band of opposition groups — should be given “enhanced support” to help “sustain their momentum and prevent the establishment of terrorist safe havens throughout north Syria.”
Kaine, Menendez, and King also backed a resolution introduced Thursday that calls for an increase in humanitarian access and a decrease in various forms of violence. The resolution also calls for the president to present a strategy to Congress within three months that deals with how the United States is going to tackle Syria’s humanitarian needs and deal with human-rights violations within the country and the region.
What We're Following See More »
"Two Republicans intimately familiar with Bill Kristol’s efforts to recruit an independent presidential candidate to challenge Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have told Bloomberg Politics that the person Kristol has in mind is David French -- whose name the editor of the Weekly Standard floated in the current issue of the magazine.
French is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to the website of National Review, where French is a staff writer, he is a constitutional lawyer, a recipient of the Bronze Star, and an author of several books who lives in Columbia, Tenn., with his wife Nancy and three children."
California Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed Hillary Clinton today, calling her "the only path forward to win the presidency and stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump." While praising Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign, Brown said "Clinton’s lead is insurmountable and Democrats have shown – by millions of votes – that they want her as their nominee. ... This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other. The general election has already begun."
In a New York Magazine profile, Hillary Clinton said she still encounters misogyny at her own events: “‘I really admire you, I really like you, I just don’t know if I can vote for a woman to be president.’ I mean, they come to my events and then they say that to me.”
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”