Thursday, September 12, 2013

Representative Loebsak Replies About Syria

September 11, 2013

Mr. Steve Greenleaf
345 Magowan Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52246-3515

Dear Mr. Greenleaf,

Thank you for contacting me about Syria.  I'm honored to represent you.  Your opinion is very important to me and my priority is to provide Iowa's Second District with the best representation possible.

As soon as discussions about possible use of military force in Syria began, I urged President Obama to make the case directly to the American people for involvement in the conflict and to seek authorization from Congress prior to committing U.S. military assets in Syria.   Any decision to use military force requires the public debate our Founding Fathers wisely prescribed in the Constitution. 

The use of chemical weapons against civilians and the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria is morally reprehensible and should be unequivocally condemned by the international community.  However, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I strongly believe that after more than a decade of war during which time our troops and military families have made great sacrifices on our behalf, we must exercise extreme caution in undertaking any military action.

The President must directly make the case to the American people for why military action in Syria is in our national interest.  This includes laying out the strategic reasoning behind military action, defining the national security reasoning for such action, and establishing an end goal and exit strategy for potential use of force, as well as laying out the broader implications of military action for the region and American interests there.  In a highly unstable area of the world, the implications of U.S. military involvement in the Syrian conflict requires significant debate and the support of the American people.  This is particularly true with our troops still deployed in Afghanistan and after our servicemembers and military families have made incredible sacrifices on our behalf over more than a decade of war.

I have received initial briefings by the White House and will continue to closely engage the Administration and our military, intelligence, and diplomatic leaders on this issue.  However, it is absolutely critical to me to know your thoughts on this issue, and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share them with me. I also have a poll on this issue posted on my website, which I welcome you to take at if you have not already.

Please be assured that as a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, I will continue to closely monitor the ongoing situation in Syria and promote extreme caution in the use of military force. 

Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue.  My office is here to assist you with any and all concerns you have, so please do not hesitate to contact me whenever you feel that I can be of assistance.  I encourage you to visit my website at and sign up for my e-newsletters to stay informed of the work I'm doing for you.  I am proud to serve the Second District, and I am committed to working hard for Iowans.

Dave Loebsak
Iowa's Second District

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