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.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAGGETT, EMILY MICHELLE 14431 DAYTON PIKE SALE CREEK, 37373 22 Hamilton County PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE BUTLER, NATASHA COLLEEN 816 ROANOKE AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37404 30 Chattanooga VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF CAMPBELL, CHRISTOPHER ... (click for more)

Appeals Court Rules Against WWTA In Lawsuit Brought By Apartment Complex Over $8 Monthly Charges To Units

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an apartment complex that sued the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Authority (WWTA) over an $8 monthly charge per apartment unit for preparing private service laterals. The court overturned a granting of summary judgment in favor of WWTA by former Judge Jackie Bolton. The appeals court said American Heritage Apartments, ... (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What About The Ashes?

I attended my fifth funeral in the month of January the other day and, while I wish a lot of my friends would hang around a little longer, I was amused by the conversation in the pew before the service began. The question was “ … then what do you do with the ashes?” More and more people are being cremated and asking their loved ones to scatter their ashes -- more properly called ... (click for more)

Baylor, Father Ryan Advance to D-II Wrestling Finals

FRANKLIN - Two old rivals meet for the TSSAA D-II state duals title Saturday night as defending state champion Baylor (24-1) take on Father Ryan (22-3) at 8 p.m. EST here at the Williamson County Ag & Expo Center. All three division championships will be held at the same time - D-II, D-I A-AA and D-I AAA. Baylor’s lone dual loss is to Archer (Ga.) and Ryan’s losses ... (click for more)

Cleveland Slips By Walker Valley In Battle Of Top District Teams

The Cleveland Blue Raiders defeated Walker Valley 49-41 Friday night at Cleveland Middle School in a battle between two Bradley County high schools to stay in a tight race at the top of the District 5-AAA standings.   The Blue Raiders jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead over the Mustangs and stayed slightly ahead for the rest of the game. Cleveland fended off a strong ... (click for more)