As lawmakers in Washington continue looking for more information on the situation in Syria and whether to authorize military force, President Obama is scheduled to take his plan to the public with a rare national prime-time address Tuesday night.
Syrian leaders announced Tuesday they’re willing to sign a chemical weapons agreement and Russian president Vladimir Putin is urging the Obama Administration to drop its threat of a military strike.
President Obama and his Secretary of State spent the day Tuesday telling lawmakers on Capitol Hill his administration wants to keep the threat of military force against Syria as an option, but Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said a missile strike right now isn’t a long-term plan.
“We need a comprehensive, long-term strategy first. Not a strike, then a promise of a strategy,” said Portman.
Youngstown State University Political Science Chairman Paul Sracic said the lack of support, both in Washington and across the country, is the result of too many mixed messages concerning Syria and its impact on America’s national security.
“There’s too much confusion here,” said Sracic. “To exercise presidential leadership, the public needs to know where you’re at, and I think right now they’re just not sure.”
Now that there’s talk of a possible diplomatic solution, Sracic thinks support for a military strike could fall off even further. He said if Congress doesn’t approve the President’s plan and he moves forward anyway, it could be disastrous. Sracic said failure now by the President could hurt his chances of reaching deals with Congress on a host of other issues between now and the end of the his term.
“I wouldn’t give the speech. If I were advising him, I’d tell him to wait and let’s see how this whole thing plays out,” said Sracic. “I don’t really see an upside of speaking tonight.”