President Barack Obama urged Congress to take a "prompt" vote authorizing military action against Syria and won endorsement for the cause from the two top Republicans in the U.S. House.
Backing from House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor will help Obama as he makes his case to lawmakers who've questioned the evidence presented by the administration that the Syrian government was behind a sarin gas attack last month or whether the U.S. has a vital interest in the region.
"The use of these weapons has to be responded to, and only the U.S. has the capability," Boehner, of Ohio, said after a White House meeting called by Obama with congressional leaders and key committee members. "I'm going to support the president's call for action and I believe my colleagues should support this call for action."
New York Representative Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the president was backing a "two-pronged" approach that would target Syria's chemical weapons capabilities and increase assistance to rebel groups trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
That's also the position of Arizona Senator John McCain, a leading Republican voice on national security issues who met separately with Obama yesterday.
David Fuller's view Uncertainties of outcome and unintended
consequences accompany any significant military action. Nevertheless, the US
is now on a more considered and apparently united path for dealing with a very
difficult situation in the Middle East. President Obama was right to involve
both houses of Congress. In doing so, including this week's discussions and
next week's Congressional votes, I assume that he will be supported by a majority
in both the House of Representatives and also the Senate. In this event, we
are likely to see cruise missiles used for more than a brief 'token' strike
against the Assad regime's military forces.
If I am wrong about Congressional support for President Obama's proposed military strike, this article from the NYT & IHT explains why: Vote on Syria Sets Up Foreign Policy Clash Between 2 Wings of G.O.P. (may require subscription registration but here is a PDF version).
Investors are understandably apprehensive ahead of military action which can restrain stock markets and result in some temporary hedge longs in precious metals such as gold, silver and crude oil, reviewed below. However, as cruise missiles will be used rather than tanks & troops, stock markets should see a relief rally following a successful military strike.