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:

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BARRERA, JAVIER ZAVALA  2715 WOODSIDE STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ASSAULT --- BROWNFIELD, STEVEN DERRICK  185 AZALEA AVE DAYTON, 37321  Age at Arrest: 32 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County THEFT OF PROPERTY UNDER ... (click for more)

Residents Concerned Over 7-Story Building On The Southside

Downtown Chattanooga residents expressed their concerns with the proposed seven-story apartment building on Cowart Street on the Southside at Tuesday night’s City Council Meeting. The apartment building, originally zoned at four stories before Belle Investment petitioned for seven, has not been adequately publicized, residents claimed.   Architect and planning professional ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)

Joseph Goetz Outruns Alan Outlaw For Turkey Trot Title

It wasn’t as cold as it’s been in years past, but the temperature and overall conditions for the 2015 running of the Turkey Trot 8K at the Sports Barn East were almost perfect. Another record crowd showed up for what has become a popular Thanksgiving Day tradition.   And has always been the case, there were a lot of people out there smiling and happy, demonstrating their ... (click for more)

Jones Thankful For Resiliency, Resolve Of 2015 Vols

The day before families gather around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving, Tennessee football coach   spoke about what he and the Vols are thankful for. "It's a time to reflect and we have so much to be thankful and grateful for in really the resiliency and resolve that this football team has shown, the growing of this football team and the growing of this football program," ... (click for more)