Long-time IN Congressman Lee Hamilton supports military action a - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Long-time IN Congressman Lee Hamilton supports military action against Syria

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Should Congress give President Obama the go-ahead to attack Syria?

Long-time southern Indiana congressman and foreign policy expert Lee Hamilton says "yes."

Hamilton says the U.S. can't sit back and do nothing because at the very least, humanitarian intervention is needed.

"Maybe the wisest thing said about Syria is there are no good options and there are not," Hamilton told WDRB.

Hamilton is currently the director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University and for 34 years, he represented Indiana's 9th Congressional District.

Hamilton says he would back President Obama's efforts in Syria but he wants it to be limited, forceful and narrow, for two reasons.

One: chemical warfare.

President Obama announced last Saturday he thinks the nation should take military action against Syria in retaliation to the chemical weapons attack that killed nearly 1,500 people.

"You can't let Assad use chemical weapons with impunity," said Hamilton.

His second reason is credibility, which he says is very important in foreign policy.

"We've made very clear that the United States would oppose the use of chemical weapons so if it happens and we don't do anything, our credibility is severely damaged," he said.

Hamilton believes the U.S. has three options.

The first is to do nothing.

"That's not a very good solution it seems to me when he has done what he's done," said Hamilton.

Or, he said the nation can do everything.

"Which means you put a lot of boots on the ground and you're there in that country for a very long time. Decades," he said.

Or find a middle ground, which he believes is the best option.

Others have been skeptical, saying a launch of military action could mean backlash but Hamilton says that's a risk worth taking.

"There are potentially bad risks, consequences to what we do but I don't think those things will happen and I think there are also very large risks if we do nothing," he explained.

The former congressman thinks along with limited military action, the U.S. should also lead an international peace effort.

"To get the world community together and say let's stop the killing of people and then try to move on from that point to political discussion and then negotiations eventually," he said.

Hamilton is confident Congress will approve the resolution.

"The United States is the world leader. If we don't act, nobody acts," Hamilton told WDRB.

Lawmakers are scheduled to meet in September to further discuss the decision.

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