Corker Warns Of Lack Of Clarity In U.S. Syria Strategy

Calls For Post-Assad Plan And Congressional Consultation Prior To Significant Change In U.S. Involvement

Thursday, April 11, 2013

During a hearing on the crisis in Syria with senior Obama administration officials, Senator Bob Corker, R-Tn., the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned that an ad hoc, reactive approach leaves the United States vulnerable to being drawn into “very dangerous circumstances” without a clear strategy. Senator Corker called for a clear articulation of U.S. goals and plans, advance preparations for the eventual fall of the Assad regime, and close congressional consultation prior to any significant change in U.S. involvement.

“Without clear objectives, principles, or parameters, events might pull us into a very dangerous circumstance where we have too little control – or where we miss a critical opening to do what’s necessary.  I am also concerned that we could overestimate the value of and underestimate the difficulty of a limited military involvement, such as a no-fly zone. There is a clear humanitarian imperative to bring Assad’s barbaric violence to an end, but there are long-term challenges in Syria that we can’t solve with a quick military fix,” said Senator Corker in his opening statement.  

“I’m very interested in what our preparations are for the ‘day after’ the Assad regime falls, as it eventually will - we all hope.  Are we making preparations with our allies in the region?  Are we preparing for the chaos of sectarian violence that may explode among opposition groups when they lose their common enemy?  And if we are preparing for these eventualities, how so?”

Referencing a letter to the president this week, Senator Corker repeated his expectation that Congress’s constitutional role in authorizing foreign assistance and military action overseas will be respected in Syria. 

“While we may have little control over events in Syria, we do have control over our own decision-making process for foreign assistance and for involvement in a war.  Earlier this week, I sent a letter to the president noting the constitutional role of Congress in such decisions and my expectation that major changes or engagements can lawfully proceed only with Congress,” he said.

Testifying before the committee Thursday are Robert Ford, U.S. ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic; Elizabeth Jones, acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs; Daniel Glaser, assistant secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, U.S. Department of Treasury; and Dennis Ross, counselor, Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

For full committee testimony and live video coverage of the hearing, visit: http://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/us-policy-toward-syria.


Women Break Into House By Crawling Through Doggie Door

Kristen Watkins, 35, and Kathy Davidson, 57 were arrested after officers said they broke into a house on Crescent Club Drive Sunday afternoon. Neighbors, who witnessed the women knock repeatedly on the front door and then disappear to the back, told police the burglars must have entered through the doggie door.  Police said they found the women hiding in a closet inside ... (click for more)

TBI Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Arrested In Chattanooga

A man from Knoxville who was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted list on May 19, was arrested  Tuesday  afternoon in Chattanooga. Marquez Travell Billingsley, 18, was taken into custody by agents with the TBI, U.S. Marshals and officers with the Chattanooga Police Department. The apprehension was made during a traffic stop ... (click for more)

Calling Out Bad Behavior In St. Elmo - And Response (2)

I have lived in the St. Elmo community of Chattanooga for practicially all 52 years of my life. My grandmother moved to St. Elmo in 1919. My Dad was literally born in a home in St. Elmo and lived his entire 72 years in this community and my Mom has lived here 60 years of her life. I am very disappointed in what my neighborhood has become. I like people. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This June

As the month of June dawns anew, it is a fact that more marriages the world over are performed this month. So as we take our monthly walk through the garden, it is hard to remember when it has been this dry. Even so, we have a bushel of orchids and onions and don’t forget Father’s Day on the third Sunday of the month, that this is National Accordion Awareness Month, and that “Flip ... (click for more)

Seth Ruhling Wins Chattanooga Chase 8K And One Mile

It has been six years since Seth Ruhling ran the Chattanooga Chase and maybe he had forgotten just how tough that 8K course really is, but that’s didn’t seem to matter Monday morning as he celebrated Memorial Day with victory in the Chattanooga Track Club’s oldest race. Ruhling graduated from Collegedale Academy in 2013 and is now a 21-year-old student at Southern Adventist ... (click for more)

Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Football Classic Set For Saturday at CCS

The 13th Annual Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Football Classic, presented by Great Clips, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday June 4 at Chattanooga Christian School in Chattanooga. Tennessee defeated Georgia 38-14 last June at McCallie School in Chattanooga. It was Tennessee's fourth consecutive victory in the series that dates back to the first game held at Ridgeland High in ... (click for more)