U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released the following statement today after a resolution authorizing use of military force in Syria was passed out of the Foreign Relations Committee:
“Today I voted for a limited authorization for the use of military force in Syria to respond to Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons to kill civilians, including more than 400 children. A failure to respond to such a blatant violation of longstanding international norms not only signals an acceptance of this atrocity, it also jeopardizes the lives of our servicemembers in combat both today and in the future. For years, countries have refrained from using chemical weapons on our servicemembers because of this international standard and for their safety, we must continue to defend this principle.
“The resolution approved by the Committee today clearly states that there will be no U.S. combat troops inside Syria, and it is limited in scope. I applaud the President’s decision to come to Congress for authorization, something that I have called for publicly since the debate over Syria began. Our nation is stronger in military matters when we act in a united fashion. Our servicemembers must be able to rely on the full support of their political leadership when asked to defend our nation. I now call on the full Senate to vote in favor of this authorization. The use of chemical weapons to kill innocent men, women, and children is intolerable and there must be a consequence.”