In the wake of a heinous chemical weapons attack in Syria on Tuesday that reportedly killed 86 people including 27 children, on Thursday night President Trump ordered airstrikes on the airbase from which that attack was launched. Trump’s order was his first direct assault on a foreign nation through executive order. This decision is troublesome to many Trump supporters and others who thought the president’s anti-Iraq war stance and arguments against nation building might prevent him from such action.
Among them is Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who spent the week arguing that any military strikes against Syria would require a congressional declaration of war.
In a series of tweets in response to the strikes, Paul said late Thursday, “While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked. The President needs Congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate.”
“Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer and Syria will be no different,” Paul said.
Trump had a similar position in 2013 when President Obama was considering a U.S.-led strike on Syria.
The missile strikes on Thursday were fired from a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea. President Trump released a short video explaining that the attacks were in retaliation for the chemical attacks reported to be carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Disclosure: I co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Sen. Rand Paul.