Congressional veterans saying 'no' to Syria strike
Of the 16 military veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars serving in Congress, only two have come out in support of the Syria war resolution, with another three undecided.
Of the 16 veterans of those two conflicts serving in Congress, only GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.) have publicly supported the White House's plan.
Three other members -- Iraq War veterans and Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) are undecided.
A fourth, Scott Perry (R-Pa.), said he hasn't made up his mind either, though he told a town hall this week he wasn't inclined to support a resolution authorizing force.
Ten of the remaining members have announced their opposition to a military strike.
Their ranks include Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who lost both legs during combat operations in Iraq in 2004. She is adamantly opposed to a U.S. strike on Syria.
When Washington decides to use military force "it's military families like mine that are the first to bleed," she said in a statement this week.
"Until I feel it's imperative to our national security, I will not support pre-emptive intervention in Syria," she continued. "America shouldn't bear the burden unilaterally, especially since none of our allies, including those in the region, have committed to action."
Duckworth's opposition is particularly notable because her views on national security and defense hold sway within her party given her sacrifices. She is the only Democratic veteran from the Iraq or Afghanistan wars serving in Congress who opposes a strike.
But the views of all of the veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are carrying weight in a debate colored by those conflicts -- particularly Iraq.
The British Parliament last week voted down the idea of a military strike in Syria in large part because of lingering resentment over the Iraq War. People on both sides of the debate there reached that conclusion.
In the U.S., members in both parties have said they want to avoid getting the U.S. involved in another conflict in the Middle East.
Eight Republicans who served in the Iraq War also oppose a military strike in Syria. They are Reps. Kerry Bentivolio (Mich.), James Bridenstine (Okla.), Doug Collins (Ga.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.), Mike Coffman (Colo.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Tim Griffin (Ark.) and Joe Heck (Nev.)
I think this shows that President Obama has failed miserably in making a case for intervention - at least, he has failed to show how intervening would be in the national interest.
The whip count on the vote shows little change from yesterday with 226 House members opposing military action or leaning that way, while 25 support it. The Senate shows 27 Senators leaning against or opposing the resolution for war while 23 support it.