A Senate hearing about potential military strikes against Syria was dominated by discussion about Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry promised there would be no ground troops.
The first congressional hearing on President Obama’s request to use military force in Syria showcased the deep and bitter legacy of the Iraq war, as one senator after the other demanded that any authorization specifically rule out any recourse to American boots on the ground.
The Tuesday afternoon hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee revealed the varying concerns of different factions in Congress – concerns that range from wanting any US action to assist the Syrian rebels in bringing down President Bashar al-Assad to worrying that even limited military action could aid America’s enemies, including Al Qaeda elements in Syria.
But the echo of Iraq – and the demand that Syria not become another quagmire – dominated more than three hours of discussion.
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