President Obama on Saturday sent Congress a draft resolution to authorize a military strike against Syria in response to the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
It calls for a strike consistent with international and U.S. law and a past United Nations nonproliferation resolution, phrasing that arrives as the U.S. has few international partners for its current plan.
If passed, it would give Obama power to use the military in a way he deems “necessary and appropriate” in connection with chemical weapons to deter their use, and to protect the U.S. and its “allies and partners” against the threat of such weapons.
The resolution, echoing Obama’s recent comments, says the alleged attack in the Damascus suburbs this month violated international norms, laws of war and the international Chemical Weapons Convention.
It also cites a 2004 United Nations Security Council resolution that found proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons threatens international peace and security.
“The objective of the United States’ use of military force in connection with this authorization should be to deter, disrupt, prevent and degrade the potential for, future uses of chemical weapons, or other weapons of mass destruction,” it states.
The phrasing of the request for authorization under the War Powers Resolution emphasizes that the strikes would not be aimed at dictating the outcome of the Syrian conflict.
It states that the conflict “will only be resolved through a negotiated political settlement,” and calls for parties to the conflict to negotiate.
While the draft resolution cites a past U.N. Security Council statement, in the current conflict Russia and China have opposed Security Council resolutions aimed at pressuring the Assad regime.
"I'm comfortable going forward without the approval of a United Nations Security Council that, so far, has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold Assad accountable," Obama said in announcing Saturday that he would seek congressional authorization for a strike.
This post was updated at 8:36 p.m.