Sen. Angus King on Monday said it would be a “huge mistake” to send troops into Syria after last week’s missile strikes and that Congress should frame the parameters of possible further military action.
“It was a strong reaction to chemical weapons, but strategically, I’m not sure it really well accomplished the goal of furthering the downfall of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, which then can allow us to turn our attention to ISIS,” Mr. King, Maine independent, said on CNN’s “New Day.”
The Trump administration ordered the firing of dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base last week after a suspected chemical weapons attack by Mr. Assad.
Mr. King said he does not understand the current U.S. policy on Syria, but also said it was hard to understand the Obama administration’s policy.
He said it would be a “huge mistake” to go in with troops.
“That’s what ISIS wants. They want to bog us down in a land war, if you will, in Syria, and I think that would be a huge mistake,” Mr. King said, referring to the Islamic State terror group.
“I know the president likes to be unpredictable, but there’s got to be some strategy and come to Congress,” he said, saying a 2001 war authorization for Afghanistan would not apply in this situation.
Mr. King said Sens. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Tim Kaine, Virginia Democrat, are working on a new authorization.
“I don’t know whether we can come together on something, but we should,” Mr. King said. “This is Congress’ responsibility.”