WASHINGTON – Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul cautioned President Donald Trump about making war in Syria Thursday evening shortly after it was announced that the Pentagon fired more than 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles on a Syrian air base.
“While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked. The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate,” said Paul, who ran for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination against Trump.
“Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer and Syria will be no different,” he said.
Earlier Thursday, the senator told Brian Kilmeade on Fox News Radio he was skeptical about the President’s ability to change Syria with new attacks.
“If he decides to do something in Syria, he would come to Congress and ask for a declaration of war. Short of congress voting on it, I’m opposed to illegal and unconstitutional wars,” he said.
“I have the greatest amount of sympathy, I can’t see those pictures, it’s heartrending to see those pictures,” he said. “But going to war we have to decide will it be better or worse? Will we improve our national security? Are we threatened currently by Syria, and if we go to war is Assad likely to use less chemical weapons or more?”
Paul argued American attacks could make the situation in Syria worse.
“There’s some argument for the more cornered and the more defeated in some ways more likely they are to use chemical weapons and actually for the less defeated they are that they’re less likely to use them,” he said. “The bottom line is it’s horrific.”