Rand Paul: Obama wants to strike Syria to avoid looking weak

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Friday accused President Obama of wanting to attack Syria simply to avoid looking weak after earlier promising consequences for Syria's use of chemical weapons.

But Paul said that is not a good enough reason to commit U.S. resources to an attack and that, for now, the Obama administration does not appear to have any strategic objective in the region.

"It sounds to me like saving face because he's made a promise, so he's going to follow through with his promise," Paul said on Fox News.

"That's why he ought to be very careful about drawing lines in the sand or red lines, because now he feels that he looks weak to both his colleagues in the United States as well as his international colleagues. But I don't think that's enough reason to go to war."

Paul said he has not detected any strategic plan for attacking Syria at all.

"This sounds like what their objective is: their objective is stalemate," he said.

"I've told them, frankly, I'm not sending my son, your son, or anyone else's son to fight if your goal or your objective is stalemate. That's not what Americans are about."

Like many other members of Congress, Paul stressed that he believes only Congress can authorize the use of military force, and said it is "disappointing" that Obama seems to have forgotten this.

"Both the president and the vice president, once upon a time, before they became in power, understood this," Paul said. "As a senator, Barack Obama said that no president should unilaterally go to war without the authority of Congress. I still believe that."

Paul said Congress should not take lightly a decision to strike Syria without congressional authorization. Among Congress's options is to come back into session and vote down the use of force, just as the United Kingdom did on Thursday.

"We could send a rebuke and a restraining order to him," he said.