There is an apparent split in the foreign policy establishment over diplomacy with Russia to resolve the war in Syria. We want to help the pro-diplomacy faction of the establishment defeat the anti-diplomacy faction of the establishment so we can have less war. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius is a "liberal insider," someone considered "close to the U.S. foreign policy establishment" and he is now advocating for diplomacy with Russia, an “official U.S. adversary”, as the “best path to peace in Syria".
Urge President Trump & Congress to back David Ignatius' call to work with Russia for peace in Syria by signing our petition at MoveOn.
As David Ignatius reported in the Washington Post, the United States and Russia successfully negotiated agreement on a buffer zone and "deconfliction line" in Syria. The agreement allows the United States and its allies to clear the Islamic State’s capital, Raqqa, while Russia and the Syrian government take the city of Deir al-Zour. The agreement on the line keeps the combatants focused on fighting the Islamic State, rather than fighting each other.
The Trump Administration has escalated U.S. military attacks against forces associated with the Syrian government - without Congressional authorization. Under the Constitution, such military actions should not happen if they have not been authorized by Congress.
The U.S. military engaged in strikes against pro-government forces on May 18, June 6, and June 8, and shot down armed Iranian-made drones in Southern Syria on June 8 and June 20. On June 18 a U.S. fighter aircraft shot down a Syrian SU-22 bomber, marking the first time the U.S. has downed a manned Syrian aircraft in the course of the Syrian conflict. On June 26, the White House released a statement threatening further military action against the Syrian government.
The key to preventing U.S. military escalation in Syria is getting Members of Congress to speak up in writing against it. In 2013, U.S. military escalation in Syria was prevented because Members of Congress signed letters insisting that President Obama come to Congress for authorization before taking military action.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Vice Chair Rep. David Cicilline [D-RI] is circulating a letter to President Trump demanding that Trump stop escalating in Syria without Congressional authorization.
Urge your Representative to join the Cicilline letter by signing our petition.
Late on Monday, June 26, the White House threatened military escalation against the Syrian government. US defense officials reached by BuzzFeed News said they were unaware the White House was planning to release its statement. Military officials were caught off guard by the White House statement, the New York Times reported.
Urge your representatives to assert Congress' war powers to challenge Trump's military escalations by signing our petition at MoveOn.
As Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote at the Washington Post, "While Washington is fixated on President Trump’s tweets, antics, lies and Russiagate, the administration is ramping up a stealth escalation of our military involvement across the Middle East."
Congress has never authorized the use of military force against the Syrian government, just as it has never authorized U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress, not the President, decides if the U.S. should use military force against the Syrian government, so long as the Syrian government has not attacked the United States. Attacking Syria without Congressional authorization is an impeachable offense.
The U.S. military launched airstrikes against government forces in Syria today.
Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress has the sole authority to decide when U.S. military force will be used if the U.S. has not been attacked. Congress never authorized Trump to attack Syria, which has not attacked the U.S.
Rep. Ted Lieu [D-CA] stated: "If true, this is FRICKIN ILLEGAL. Trump does not have Congressional authorization to attack Syria, a country that has not attacked US."
In January, Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said part of why Obama didn't attack Syria unilaterally - without Congress' approval - was fear of impeachment. "[W]e had no domestic legal basis. We actually had Congress warning us against taking action without congressional authorization, which we interpreted as the president could face impeachment," Rhodes said. "They laid down markers that this would not be constitutional. If we got drawn into a conflict in Syria without congressional authorization, without international authorization, without international support, you can see very clearly how that could have completely derailed this entire presidency."
On April 6, President Trump attacked Syria without Congressional authorization, violating the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. On April 8, he said he would take additional action as he deemed necessary. He has not yet agreed to seek Congressional authorization before further military action.
Representative Zoe Lofgren [CA-19] is circulating a bipartisan letter to President Trump, demanding that he seek Congressional authorization before further military action in Syria. The Lofgren letter echoes a bipartisan 2013 letter led by then-Republican Representative Scott Rigell to then-President Obama, pressing him to come to Congress before U.S. military action in Syria. 
Urge your Representative to support the Lofgren letter by signing our petition at MoveOn.
On April 10, 55 Members of the House sent a bipartisan letter to President Trump and Attorney General Sessions demanding that President Trump seek authorization from Congress before escalating militarily in Yemen. Rep. Mark Pocan said, “Administration officials have proposed the U.S. participate directly in an attack on Yemen's major port. Such an attack could push the country into full-blown famine...this letter is a first step in reasserting our Constitutional check on presidential powers. I am committed to pursuing all tools at our disposal to ensure President Trump abides by our Constitution before possibly plunging our country into another senseless conflict.” Rep. Ted Lieu said, “President Trump does not have the authority to send U.S. forces to battle the Houthis in Yemen, period."
Press your representatives to pledge to invoke the War Powers Resolution when they return from recess to explicitly prohibit military escalation in Syria and Yemen by signing our petition on MoveOn.
On April 6, President Trump attacked Syria without congressional authorization. Many Members of Congress have said that President Trump did not have authority for this attack and that the President must seek authorization from Congress before any further military action.
Following Nixon's unauthorized escalations of the Vietnam War, the Congressional Framers of the War Powers Resolution knew that it was likely that future Presidents would try to use military force without Congressional authorization. That's why they put multiple mechanisms in the WPR to help future Congresses defend their war powers.
One of those mechanisms was the requirement that the President report in writing to Congress within 48 hours of using military force without a declaration of war, stating: "(A) the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces; (B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which such introduction took place; and (C) the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or involvement."
On April 7, Reps. Peter DeFazio [OR-], Mark Pocan [WI-2], Barbara Lee [CA-13], and James McGovern [MA-2] sent a letter to Trump reminding him that under the War Powers Resolution, he has 48 hours to report to Congress on his unauthorized strike.
Add your voice to those of DeFazio, Pocan, Lee and McGovern by signing our petition at MoveOn.
President Trump has attacked Syria without Congressional authorization, violating the U.S. Constitution. Congress must assert its war powers, invoking the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.
Congress must insist that no further attacks take place without Congressional authorization and that U.S. forces be withdrawn from unauthorized conflict. Congress must invoke the War Powers Resolution to debate and vote on a privileged resolution for the withdrawal of U.S. forces if President Trump refuses to remove U.S. forces from the conflict.
Urge your representatives to invoke the War Powers Resolution to withdraw U.S. forces from unauthorized conflict by signing our petition at MoveOn.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has introduced a bipartisan bill to block additional U.S. forces from being sent into Syria. H.R. 1473 prohibits the Department of Defense from funding any attempt by the administration to expand our presence in Syria by putting U.S. combat boots on the ground. Under the bill, the Pentagon would be prohibited from using funds to send troops to Syria for ground combat operations, award a contract to a private security firm for ground activity or otherwise establish or maintain a presence of U.S. troops or a private security contractor in Syria. The bill would allow for exceptions to “protect, rescue or remove” U.S. personnel.
Urge your Rep. to co-sponsor H.R. 1473 by signing our petition at MoveOn.
“I strongly object to the White House’s decision to unilaterally place U.S. boots on the ground in Syria," Rep. Lee said. "The Constitution is clear: Congress must debate, vote and authorize the use of military force in matters of war and peace." Twenty Members of the House have co-sponsored the bill.
Urge your Rep. to co-sponsor H.R. 1473 by signing and sharing our petition.
The Trump Administration is considering deploying U.S. ground troops to Syria, something that the Obama Administration opposed, along with most Democrats and war-skeptic Republicans. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said, "It would be a really rotten, no good, bad idea to have ground troops in Syria." Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy said, "Sending combat troops into Syria would make the unforced errors of the first four weeks look like child's play." California Representative Ted Lieu said, "As Member of House Foreign Affairs Committee, I want to say that sending ground troops to Syria is a VERY BAD IDEA."
Urge Congressional candidates Jon Ossoff & Karen Handel to publicly oppose the deployment of ground troops to Syria by signing our petition at MoveOn.